He may be the President of the United States, but Barack Obama knows girls run his world.
In the chain of command, he says his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, ranks No. 1 and their daughters, Malia, 17, and Sasha, 14, are “constantly wrestling for second place. “I rank ahead of the dogs,” Obama jokes in his cover story for GQ’s 20th Anniversary Men of the Year issue.
We always love to hear him gush about his daughters and this article he opens up, saying: “They’re smart, they’re funny. They take after their mom, and Michelle’s done a great job with them.”
We’re still wondering if her got the phrase “pop off” from his girls, but he admits he’s still adjusting to the teenage years. “You get these teenage moments – they love you, but what I think really affects you most is they just don’t have time for you,” he explains. “It’s not an active disdain for you. It’s just their calendars start filling up and they’ve got all these friends who are much more interesting.”
Obama says his daughters are no joke when it comes to their smartphones.
“Both are complete ninjas on the phone, right?” he says. “And they can do things that I don’t even understand – they’re doing it in two seconds. But I even see a difference between Malia, who’s 17, and Sasha, who’s 14. There’s almost a mini-generational gap in terms of Sasha being so connected seamlessly to this smartphone in a way that Malia, who was already a little bit older when it really started to take, is not.”
“Her social life is so connected to that,” he adds of Sasha.
He’s also dealing with Malia and Sasha’s busy schedules.
“You just have to let go, you have to acknowledge that if you say to them, ‘Hey, you want to go watch this movie?’ or ‘Hey, you want to go take a swim at the pool?’ [they’ll say], ‘No, sorry, Daddy. I love you, though. See you tomorrow, ’cause I’m spending the night at somebody’s house.’ The golden age is between, say, 6, 7, and 12, and they’re your buddies and they just want to hang out. And after that, they will love you, but they don’t have that much time for you.”
Has anyone come to the White House and picked up your older daughter for a date?
No, but I’ve seen some folks glancing at her in ways that made me not happy.
“And my understanding is, based on friends of mine who have older kids, is that with a little bit of luck, as long as you’re not so completely annoying during these teenage years, they’ll come back to you around 23, 24, and actually want to hang out with you. But that stretch is painful. The compensation you get for the fact that they don’t have time for you is: Nothing beats watching your children become smarter and cooler than you are. And you suddenly will hear them say something or make a joke or have an insight and you go, ‘Wow. I didn’t think of that.’ “