Guest blogger Ronda Kaysen: Next time your kids complain about their bedtime, try this tactic: tell them the Obama girls still have to go to bed at 8 o'clock, even if celebrities and kings are coming over for dinner.
Sasha and Malia might have a bowling alley, a horseshoe pit, a swimming pool, and five full-time chefs at their disposal, but they still have to make their own beds in the morning. Their parents are on a mission to keep them in line, the New York Times reports. Not only is their bedtime enforced, but Michelle Obama has given White House staff strict orders not to make the girls' beds or clean their rooms. The girls also have to set their own alarms and get themselves up and ready for school in the morning. They have to clean their rooms and when they finally get the First Puppy, they'll have to walk him and clean up his presidential poop.
"That was the first thing I said to some of the staff when I did my visit" of the White House, Mrs. Obama told ABC News. "Don't make their beds. Make mine. Skip the kids. They have to learn these things."
Barack, a modern dad who attends back-to-school nights and read Malia the entire Harry Potter series is intent on keeping his girls from becoming sassy. "Right now, they're not self conscious. You know, they don't have an attitude," he told CBS News. "And I think one of our highest priorities over the next four years is retaining that."
Kudos to the Obamas for trying to maintain normalcy. It must be a Herculean task. "Those are some special girls, and everyone is rooting for them to make it through this intact," Craig Robinson, Mrs. Obama's brother, said in an interview.
Right now the Obama girls are cute little 7 and 10-year-old media darlings. Wait until they morph into gawky adolescents with acne, braces and all the other good things that come with being teenagers (can anyone say Chelsea Clinton?). It'll be interesting to see how the Obamas handle the media, which might turn on their daughters once their cute factor falls a few notches.
|Ronda Kaysen is a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, BusinessWeek.com, Architectural Record, Huffington Post, New York Observer and AM New York. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.|