Sasha And Malia Get Surprise Swing Set

Filed under: Celeb Kids, Celeb Parents

The adorable first daughters had a nice surprise when they got home from school yesterday. Not the puppy (not yet, anyway), but something almost as good -- a brand new wooden swing set.

They squealed with delight upon seeing it, said a spokeswoman for Michelle Obama. "They ran right for it. They were really, really excited. All four of them."

Not just any swing set. This one is made from 100 percent cedar and North American Redwood and has "four swings, a slide, a fort and a climbing wall."

The only feature that probably will not make it into the lawns of American families nationwide is "a picnic table with brass plates etched with the names of all 44 presidents." Nice touch, as is the location: within sight of the oval office. I imagine the Prez will be able to peek out at the girls getting some fresh air.

For the record, this isn't the first swing set at the White House. Caroline Kennedy used to say "Push higher!" right on the White House lawn, and Jimmy "Paul Bunyan" Carter built daughter Amy a treehouse (okay, he had help). "Many first families have made these sorts of changes to make the White House feel like home," said the spokeswoman. "This one is like their little mark."

No idea what Chelsea Clinton got when she moved in; Bill and Hillary mostly kept her under wraps during Bill's eight years in office. And the Bush girls were already in college, so a swing set would've been a little weird.

Also worth noting is that this isn't the most expensive set money can buy. According to the Chicago Tribune, the cost for a set like this is $3,500, although the company, Rainbow Play Systems Inc., is not releasing what the Obamas paid. I say "what the Obamas paid" because they paid for it themselves, according to Rainbow spokesperson Joanie Barrus, who called it a "very conservative choice." (No pun intended, I'm sure.)

One of the things I've grown to like about the First Family is how much I feel like I can relate to them as a family. I don't think this has anything to do with politics; more likely it's because my children are fairly close in age to Sasha and Malia, combined with the fact that Michelle and Barack appear to be involved in their children's lives.

Whether it's the new puppy, Barack betting Malia that she will "freak" when she meets Nick Jonas or this new swing set, there's something genuinely warm about these folks. I'm usually inclined towards cynicism, but I find myself getting all mushy whenever I read stories like this. Does this have anything to do with the problems facing the world today? No. Is it nice to hear pleasant stories about the family of the most powerful man on Earth? Sure. Why not?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.