(Strip Number 264, Original Publication Date, 26 May 1982)
Panel 1: It would seem that Mike went to the store to get a popsicle; that's because he's holding one when Elly tells him that he's filthy; he says he knows but he can't help it. I believe him because he's a seven year old boy who's reasonably active.
Panel 2: Since Elly was never seven years old, she's sincere when she declares that of course he can; after all, you don't see her getting covered in dirt just going to the store and back.
Panel 3: She then asks him why he can't stay clean.
Panel 4: Since he's a child, his answer is that of a child; he tells her that he's closer to the ground than she is. Since his answer was not whatever it was she expected (possibly "I get dirty because I hate seeing you happy."), she looks like she got hit on the head with a two-by-four.
Summary: Those of you who think that I'm being too hard on Elly should note that this is what I'm talking about when I say that she's forgotten what being a child was like. First, she makes a comparison that doesn't really make any sense and then she gets confused because Mike doesn't answer her question with either an apology for being a child or by confirming her suspicion that he's trying to destroy her. What we thus have is a woman who doesn't understand children and doesn't seem to want to learn how feeling frustrated because she can't keep up with her amazingly average kids.