Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. 1919.

Sickness of Archie

White House, March 3, 1907.

Poor little Archie has diphtheria, and we have had a wearing forty-eight hours. Of course it is harder upon Mother a good deal than upon me, because she spends her whole time with him together with the trained nurse, while I simply must attend to my work during these closing hours of Congress (I have worked each day steadily up to half past seven and also in the evening); and only see Archiekins for twenty minutes or a half hour before dinner. The poor little fellow likes to have me put my hands on his forehead, for he says they smell so clean and soapy! Last night he was very sick, but this morning he is better, and Dr. Rixey thinks everything is going well. Dr. Lambert is coming on this afternoon to see him. Ethel, who is away at Philadelphia, will be sent to stay with the Rixeys. Quentin, who has been exposed somewhat to infection, is not allowed to see other little boys, and is leading a career of splendid isolation among the ushers and policemen.

Since I got back here I have not done a thing except work as the President must during the closing days of a session of Congress. Mother was, fortunately, getting much better, but now of course is having a very hard time of it nursing darling little Archie. He is just as good as gold—so patient and loving. Yesterday that scamp Quentin said to Mademoiselle: “If only I had Archie’s nature, and my head, wouldn’t it be great?”

In all his sickness Archie remembered that to-day was Mademoiselle’s birthday, and sent her his love and congratulations—which promptly reduced good Mademoiselle to tears.