Michelle Obama Welcomes Staffers' Kids to the White House

Filed under: Work Life, Celeb Parents, Celeb News & Interviews

The first lady greeted children of executive branch staffers. Credit: Win McNamee, Getty Images

First lady Michelle Obama talked puppies, parenting and iPods at the White House yesterday when she welcomed about 200 children of executive branch staff members for Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

"You guys are helping us just as much as your parents are," Obama said. "So thank you for being patient and making sure you're doing what you're supposed to do at home, so that your parents can do what they need to do here."

Nan Gibson, chief of staff for the Council of Economic Advisers, who brought her 7-year-old daughter, Grace, said, "I think it's important for my daughter to see the people we work with, the settings that we work in and the reason why the hours are long and what we're doing. We're trying to make life better for families all over the country."

With first dog Bo in attendance, Obama took questions from the 8- to 12-year-olds, who asked her what was on her iPod. She said she rocks out to Rhianna, Beyonce, Michael Jackson and the latest Usher album, ABC News reports. The kids didn't seem to know who Sting was.

Obama said that, in addition to playing sports, daughter Sasha takes hip-hop dance lessons, and Malia is learning to play the flute. She said the girls get up every morning at 6 a.m., ABC News reports.

Since Thursday was also Earth Day, Obama answered several questions about the environment and said Malia is concerned about saving the world's tigers.

"We talk about the tigers at least once a week, and what (the president's) doing to save the tigers," Obama said. "He hasn't come up with a sufficient answer yet, but he's got a couple more years to fix this problem."

The first lady also was asked if the family had any of the White House perks (swimming pool, tennis courts, movie theater) when they lived in Chicago, ABC News reports.

"We had nothing!" she said. "We had each other. We had love! That's what we had."

Related: Michelle Obama Announces Effort to Tackle Childhood Obesity

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