Karen's mom watched her daughter walk through the door into the kitchen, slump down in a chair at the table, and start to cry.
Mom dried her hands on a towel and sat down in a chair next to Karen. "What's the matter?" she asked with concern in her voice.
Karen put her head on her mom's shoulder and sobbed. A few minutes later, she sat up and composed herself enough to explain. "Marybeth says she can't be my friend anymore," said Karen, and she burst into tears again.
"Oh, my," said Mrs. Simpson. "Why? Did something happen to upset her?"
Karen took a deep breath. "She says I don't have good manners. Her mom is teaching her about manners. She said we can't be friends if I don't improve mine."
Mom smiled slightly. She reached down, put her finger on Karen's chin, and lifted her daughter's face to hers. "I don't think Marybeth has quite learned what good manners are yet."
"What do you mean?" asked Karen.
"Well, one of the most important manners is to be kind to others," said Mom.
Karen frowned. "She wasn't very kind to me! Wait until I tell her tomorrow!"
Mom giggled. "I don't think that's quite the way to handle this. Why does Marybeth think you don't have good manners?"
Karen scrunched up her face. "At lunch I was talking with food in my mouth."