Michelle's Spare Time? Puppy Training!

Michelle Obama took questions from a group of children of White House staffers in the East Room today. Kids being kids, they asked a bunch of questions that most reporters are curious about, but too embarrassed to ask. These kind of candid events with children in the White House are steadily becoming a trademark for the First Lady, and as usual she gave pretty honest, lighthearted answers, while weaving in her familiar message about working hard at school and trying your best.

So what did we learn about Michelle today? She doesn't have much spare time, but these days what little time she has is spent training and walking Bo. "Oh, my dog. Oh, the dog. Oh, he is a crazy dog," she said as children giggled. He's still a puppy who likes to play a lot, and chew on people's feet, Michelle says. At about 10pm last night the First Couple was disturbed by the sounds of barking and jumping around. Concerned that there was a problem, they went to check what was wrong. "We thought somebody was out there. And it was just Bo. He was playing with his ball. And it was like there was another person in the house," Michelle said. Even in the White House, puppy training ain't easy.

Michelle told the children that she thinks being First Lady is the best job it the White House, but she still feels like a mom, a job she takes very seriously. Sometimes she likes to take her staff and sneak out unannounced. Recently she had a covert field trip to DC burger chain Five Guys. (Um, that's not very healthy!) "Nobody knew it. It was good," she said. She spends a lot of time doing things with Sasha and Malia, like watching them play soccer, making sure their friends are having fun at the White House and watching movies with them. She's proud of the herbs in her garden, some of which she got from Thomas Jefferson's garden, but she's concerned about the snap peas. Her least favorite thing to do in the White House is running on the treadmill. She sees her husband more now than she has in several years. "If I really need to see him, I can walk to his office, and, you know, cool stuff like that," she said. They have dinner as a family every night, and she doesn't miss cooking at all.

But the kids weren't all fluff. One had no qualms about asking the tough questions - what would she do if something bad happened, like an earthquake in China? "Well, first of all I'd wake my husband up if it were at night, and I'd tell him, hey, buddy, you're the President, get down to the Oval Office and call some leaders," she said. "He'd probably talk to the people who were in charge. He'd talk to the Secretary of State. He'd call the leaders of other countries, and they'd work to figure out what they could do to help another nation in trouble. And then I'd go back to sleep and ask him how it turned out when I woke up the next morning." Sounds like Michelle has got this First Lady gig all figured out.