Although Michelle Obama's mother, Marian Robinson, moved to D.C. to help take care of the girls while their parents were off saving the world, she's now finding that D.C. is more fun that she expected.
She entertains visitors from Chicago. She attends White House dinners and concerts hosted by her daughter, the first lady, Michelle Obama. She dines at local restaurants and delights in events at the Kennedy Center, where she often sits in the president's box and chats with performers.
In fact, Mrs. Robinson, 71, is so busy these days that the Obamas hired a baby sitter to watch their two daughters one evening because the nation's first grandmother had plans.
So much for all that sexist snickering about Barack getting hen-pecked in the White House — Marian Robinson is way too awesome for that.
Not that she's ignoring her grandkids, though.
Mrs. Robinson still spends much of her time tending to the Obama girls, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7. She shuttles them to and from school most days and accompanies them to some play dates, the first lady said. She attends class presentations, helps with homework and baby-sits when the president and first lady need extra help.
And with her plain-spoken, matter-of-fact manner, Mrs. Robinson helps keep the girls grounded amid the gilded trappings of their new lives.
But she doesn't consider that hard work, and not only because it's a labor of love.
She declined to comment for this article, but when asked recently by Essence magazine whether she was enjoying her new life, she answered in the affirmative.
"I really am," she said. "You want to know why? Because my children are good parents. It makes it very easy to be a grandmother when your children are good parents."
Aw. It's not even Mother's Day, but it seems like Michelle kind of got the best gift early.