WASHINGTON–First Lady Michelle Obama took questions from kids whose folks work at the White House, at an event Thursday to mark “Take Your Child To Work Day.”
The kids had a lot of questions dealing with Mrs. Obama’s favorite things; we learn about her favorite color, book, sport and football team–Da Bears, of course–and more:
MRS. OBAMA: My favorite color. You know what, Sasha asked me this the other day, and it’s hard for me to have a favorite color because I like them all so much. I mean, look at this dress. It’s got like every color in it. But I guess if I had to pick one, it would be something like lavender, purple. I tend to like those colors.
Favorite thing to do in your spare time here?
MRS. OBAMA: Oh, that’s a good question. I exercise a lot just to keep moving. I do that. You know, nowadays, I spend a lot of time talking to my girls. They’re at the age where they have a lot of questions and a lot of conversations, so dinnertime conversations, right before bedtime conversations, I have fun doing that.
Going out with friends when I get a chance to. Going to the girls’ games. We love doing that. So now it’s soccer and lacrosse, and that’s what I’ll be doing all day Saturday and Sunday.
MRS. OBAMA: Tennis, without a doubt. Favorite sport to play is tennis. Favorite sport to watch is tennis, and I do like basketball. I enjoy the game. I enjoy watching basketball.
How do you choose your clothing?
MRS. OBAMA: How do I choose my clothing? You know, it kind of depends on what I’m doing today, so after this, I have to do a luncheon, so I wanted to wear something that was comfortable, but also kind of pretty because it’s a luncheon with some ladies. And — but when I’m doing something where I’m outside and it’s going to be hot, or I’m going to be running around, I’ll wear something that’s comfortable for that. So it really depends on the day and how I feel.
I thought, I like this dress, it’s pretty, and I felt like being pretty today. Did it work? Is it pretty? Am I working?
Favorite football team?
MRS. OBAMA: Oh, my favorite football team — Da Bears! … But you know what, I like the Pittsburgh Steelers too because —
Favorite part of the White House?
MRS. OBAMA: What’s my favorite part of the White House? All right, there is my favorite part outside. I like the Rose Garden, especially now when it’s spring, because it’s really green, and then the flowers are just so pretty, and you see magnolia trees, and it’s near my husband’s office, so it’s kind of close to him. That’s a pretty place.
Inside I like — my favorite room is the Yellow Oval Room in our house. ….
…. Well, we live right upstairs, and there is a room that’s similar to that that’s in our residence that’s yellow, oval, and it’s shaped the same way. But right next to it is the Truman Balcony, and when it’s warm, you can go outside, and you get a great view of the Washington Monument, and it’s fun to sit out there. And if the girls are walking Bo, we can watch them play. So that room is my favorite.
More favorite things at the click below….
Famous person (to meet who) has ever lived, who would it be?
MRS. OBAMA: Wow, that’s tough. That’s a really hard question. Any famous person? Well, I’ve already met some pretty cool famous people. I’m not sure if you think they were cool, because they were cool — like Stevie Wonder, very cool.
….Paul McCartney, who was a Beatle….. Oprah Winfrey. Amazing cool. Just met Willow Smith. She was here at the Easter Egg Roll. Very cool.
Disadvantages and the difficulties of being a First Lady?
MRS. OBAMA: The disadvantages and difficulties? You know, probably one of the hardest things — and both the President and I talk about this — is that you can’t just do anything on the spur of the moment, right? So if right now, after I wanted to leave here, and I wanted to walk out the front door, and go to the store, that would create a lot of problems for a lot of people. And it would be chaotic. So I can’t do that.
And that’s like the normal stuff. I mean, before we lived here, we were normal people. I had a job, I drove my own car, I took my kids to school every day. I went to Target and shopped for my groceries. And, you know, that may sound like minor things, but once you can’t do any of that ever again, you start feeling like, well, this is a little strange. So sometimes it becomes difficult to live in what we call a bubble.
But the upsides are much better. I mean, I get to do things that can impact the whole country for a long time.
Like doing best with Bo?
MRS. OBAMA: Doing best with Bo — I like to cuddle with Bo. Bo thinks he’s a child. So some of the funniest things — and Malia and Sasha thinks it’s funny, too — sometimes they’re sitting on my lap and he’ll run and like try to move them out of the way so he can sit on my lap. And Bo is big, so he’s not like a little puppy. He’s a big dog, but he thinks he’s a puppy. ……It’s sweet when he wants to cuddle. So that’s my favorite thing. And playing — doing tricks with him, seeing him learn tricks. So there’s one thing. If he wants a treat, he’s got to sit, he’s got to roll over, he’s got to give you a high five, he’s got to do some things for his treat. But he’s so excited about the treat that he almost can barely do the trick trying to get to the treat, and that’s funny to watch.
Do you get to spend a lot of time with Bo?
MRS. OBAMA: Yeah, I get to spend a lot of time with Bo. Yeah, he’s around all the time, just hanging out. He’s just laying — he’s probably asleep right now.
But Bo has a job himself, actually. He leaves every morning and he goes down with Dale, who is one of the head gardeners. And he’s with all the National Park Service guys. And you’ll see him, and he’s like walking around with them, and looking at the plants. He really — I think he thinks he has a job because he takes it very seriously. So if I go out and see him, he kind of ignores me when he’s with his worker crew people. He’s not a sort of hi, Mommy, I want to be in your lap. He doesn’t do that. He’s like, I’m at work. I’m busy. ….So he works until about noon, and then he comes back, and he’s tired, so he’s usually laying around.
What type of school do Malia and Sasha go to?
MRS. OBAMA: They go to a school called Sidwell Friends. It’s a Quaker school, and they teach values of community and everybody is equal. I sort of like that. But they — it’s a school in Washington. In fact, there are two campuses. There’s a campus in Washington, and there’s one in Bethesda, which is the lower school.
And this year Sasha graduates from fourth grade, so she gets to go to the big school. It’s very exciting. There’s graduation. There’s a lot going on. It’s big time stuff. She’ll be in middle school, and Grandma will be happy because there’s one drop-off. That’s really the big thing. Parents understand that. No more two drop-offs after this year. But that’s the school they go to.
Do you like the White House better than your old house?
MRS. OBAMA: That’s a good question. You know, it’s very different, you know? We like our old house, too. And when we get a chance to go back — and we don’t get a chance to go back often, that’s still home, so the girls remember that as their rooms, and they reminisce. And they go through their closets where their books — there are a lot of memories there, so nothing beats memories. But we’re creating new memories here.
And in so many ways, this is home now. This is where the girls go to school. This is where most of their friends are. This is where their dad works. This is where we live, so this has become home, too. But it’s good to go back when we can, although Chicago gets kind of cold in the winter, so we kind of avoid it in the winter because it’s cold. So we don’t miss the cold. So thanks for your question.
Favorite part of being the First Lady?
MRS. OBAMA: My favorite part of being First Lady is spending time with kids, really. I tell my staff all the time, if you could book my whole day with kids, I’d work a lot harder. I really do — I love spending time — I love my girls, but I love you guys. I love — because you’re the future, really. And there’s so many — you’re so open to possibilities and you’re not sort of bogged down in what you knew when you were — years ago. You guys are funny. You’re generally open and excited.
So I love spending time with kids and I — that’s why I work a lot on child nutrition issues. That’s why I work with military families, because it’s what goes in your heads and what you have in your hearts that are going to shape the world. And it’s exciting for me to see. So I could stay here all day, actually, but they won’t let me. So that’s my favorite part.
Favorite book and why?
MRS. OBAMA: Oh, man, you guys are tough. All right, okay, there are kids books that I enjoy, everything from “Goodnight, Moon” — do you guys — have your parents read “Goodnight, Moon” to you, guys? “Where the Wild Things Are” — we just read — the girls read that at the Easter Egg Roll. So I have a ton of those books.
One of the books that I loved — one of the first books that I loved and read cover to cover in one day — not because anybody made me read it but because the book was good — it was called — it was a book called “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison. And that book helped me love reading, because before then reading was kind of like something you did when you had to do it. But that book, it like grabbed me and pulled me and I just kept reading and kept reading. And any book that does that for me — do you feel that way when you get a book and you just can’t put it down, whether it’s a mystery or one of the gossip things like “Camp Confidential”? Who reads “Camp Confidential”? Sasha is loving those books. I think those are just — they just suck her in and she can’t put it down.
So those books are my favorite books.