How to Run a Playdate in the White House

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When you live in the White House, you can’t have the usual run-around-the-yard playdate. Here are some playdate planning guidelines for Mrs. Obama as she plans the First Daughters’ social calendar come January:


Step 1: Decide which kids to invite over. If you can “reach across the aisle” by extending an invitation to, say, Newt Gingrich’s grandkids, it’ll make Hubby happy.


Step 2: Remember, when you call the playdates’ parents, you don’t have to supply your address.


Step 3: After the children arrive, greet the parents, who will undoubtedly make no motion toward leaving.


Step 4: Realize that you, too, are now having a playdate. Tell your social secretary that the seating chart for the state dinner will have to wait, and start the private tour.


Step 5: Don’t worry, the Secret Service will chase the First Puppy, who has now escaped into the Rose Garden. And CNN will film the madcap chase for your family reel.


Step 6: Warn the White House chef of the impending pantry raid.


Step 7: When you wonder if anyone can hear that loud Hannah Montana music over in the West Wing, go tell the kids to turn it down. After all, Daddy’s working from home today.


Step 8: Apologize to Miley Cyrus for referring to her music as “that god-awful sound,” and ask her if her stay in the Lincoln Bedroom has been satisfactory.


Step 9: Remember that you can’t just kick them all outside to play without alerting the SWAT team up on the roof. Tell Rosebud and Radiance to show their friends to the bowling alley in the basement instead.


Step 10: Note that you’ve got to go greet Hamid Karzai’s wife in the Blue Room, and excuse yourself, leaving your guests with your social secretary.


Step 11: Don’t feel bad about not escorting your playdates to the door. They’re busy heading to the gift shop, anyhow.


Step 12: Tell Miley Cyrus it’s time for her to go home, too.


By Jen Singer

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