(Strip Number 4294, Original Publication Date, 8 February 1983)
Panel 1: We find Mike telling Bachelor Wife Elly that he and Lizzie are starving and asking when dinner will be ready. Lizzie parrots the word 'Hungry' because she just learned to talk again in this strip.
Panel 2: Since Elly is sort of stupid and doesn't understand that children sometimes exaggerate, she tells them to find something to do and she'll rush as fast as she can. Mike is either groaning from hunger or from realizing that she cooks worse than normal when she's in a rush.
Panel 3: Panicky Idiot Elly tells them that dinner is ready and on the table.
Panel 4: Panicky Idiot Elly becomes Martyred Idiot Elly when Mike asks if it can't wait until they're done watching a movie on the box.
Summary: This is because, as I said, Elly has no idea how children think and doesn't intend to do so. The same sort of silliness that would make most mothers smile ruefully at the ever-changing moods of a seven-year old is to Elly a baffling existential horror that can only have the purpose of driving her crazy because they hate her.