Miss Manners

Sophie is one of the most charming and gracious children I've ever met. Yesterday at her 5th birthday party she greeted each guest with true enthusiasm and told them how glad she was to see them. When it was time for her to choose an assistant for the magic show, the other girls clamored for her attention. She said, "I will pick someone who is being very quiet." And she did. True, she was a little panicky about being first for face painting, but come on, she was the birthday girl.

When she was opening her presents, she always said her thank you's and frequently said, "These are the best presents ever." Still, who among us has never made a faux pas? She opened a big present and said happily, "A kite!" "Wow. It's a pirate kite," said her mother. Sophie, fairy-loving child that she is, replied, "I don't like pirates." Instantly, she knew her mistake. You could actually see the dismay flicker over her face. "But I love Uncle Billy's present, though!"

Nice save, Sophie. Emily Post would be be proud.