The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Tuesday—We had movies for ten very well-behaved children yesterday afternoon. I decided the industry has learned how to appeal to the young, for even the one-and-half year old children sat perfectly quiet for three-quarters of an hour. I learned another lesson, and that is children do not consider they have received a present unless it is wrapped up in paper and tied with ribbon.

Because the children were small, I thought it would be less confusing if I placed a small gift at each place around the supper table. One little girl held hers in her hand, turned around and demanded a present. It was not until her aunt put it into an envelope and tied it, that she was content and seemed to consider it a gift.

I should have had sense enough to realize this, for I know that the outer wrappings are always half the fun of what I receive. We so often make the mistake of thinking children are different than we are, when, in reality, they react in much the same way we do to the pleasures and pains of life.

Chandler cut her thumb on the edge of a sheet of paper in a book which Anne Clark was reading to her. It was a most minute cut, but she was all prepared for sobs and tears. We put on some antiseptic and I told her to hold her finger carefully until it dried. I cautioned her to be sure not to let Uncle Johnny take any of the antiseptic away from her, for it was only for her. The tears changed into smiles and she felt most important and forgot she had ever thought of weeping.

This morning I took Chandler to her first day in nursery school. Though she was under perfect control, I left her looking decidedly diffident and unhappy. She returned at noon very happy because she had had a very good morning.

I practiced in the riding hall at Fort Myer this morning and found that my horse, "Dot," is still somewhat uncertain. She wasn't actually lame, but they seemed apprehensive that she might become lame any minute. I rode her round and round to the accompaniment of the band, which she distinctly did not like. For an old lady of over twenty, she behaved with considerable spirit.

Captain Reybold seems to feel John's horse, "Badger," will be safer and will probably not go lame at the last minute. I rode him too, and so am all prepared for tonight's festivities.

I have received a series of articles which are being sent out to various newspapers throughout the country in the interests of traffic improvement and safety in automobile travel. I have read them through and there is certainly some good advice from which all of us can profit. I was pleased to learn that, while men up to forty years of age are better drivers, women, once they attain a certain amount of efficiency, retain it longer than men. This is encouraging to those of us who are still driving, even though we may be on the downward path so far as age goes.


(Copyright, 1938, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 2, 1938

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.