When speaking about her "Let's Move!" program to fight childhood obesity, Mrs. Obama often explains her vision of government as parent -- the Big Mother who will teach children the important things their derelict real moms and dads do not.
Big Mother made an early appearance in 2009, when Mrs. Obama talked to bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services.
"Their fate isn't set yet," Mrs. Obama said. "We still have everything in our power because the other beautiful thing is that kids change quickly. Their habits are easily broken. They are so malleable, and they're waiting for the right information, the right opportunities, and once they have it, they just go."
"Many of the children in the public schools, they take this information, they understand it," said Mrs. Obama. "They apply it to their lives, and they push their parents and their families to be different. That's one of the reasons why we start with kids oftentimes. They are ready for change sometimes when we're not."
How young are the "malleable" children Mrs. Obama wants the government to teach lessons they can "push" on their parents?
How about "little itty-bitty babies"?
In June, Mrs. Obama visited CentroNia, a daycare center in Washington, D.C. She went there to announce the "Child Care" division of "Let's Move!"
"Our full-day program for children from birth through age 5 lays the foundation for school readiness by working to develop the whole child in a dual-language environment," says CentroNia's website. Its 2010 annual report says the center received 36 percent of its 2009 funding from government contracts.
At this government contractor "for children from birth," Mrs. Obama said she saw babies eating fish at a family-style meal and talked about how these meals developed the babies' "souls."
"I mean, one of the things we watched upstairs -- babies, little bitty babies eating salad and fish and strawberries and mashed sweet potatoes, and loving it, because that's what they're used to eating," said Mrs. Obama.
"And they serve their meals family-style," said Mrs. Obama. "Babies. Little itty-bitty babies, right? They were serving themselves, using the tongs, learning manners, having conversation -- not with real sentences or anything -- but all the expression that goes along with sitting at the table and having a glass of milk and passing the food.
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