48 pictures of President Obama discovering his inner child for his 55th birthday

Happy birthday, President Obama!

The 44th president turned 55 on Thursday — his final birthday in office. He’s a Leo and, incidentally, Leos are ambitious, magnetic, and love being center stage — which sound like qualifications for the nation’s top job.

On his birthday, Obama is set to hold a press conference after a National Security Council meeting to discuss the fight against ISIS.

Perhaps sometime between these events, Obama will have time for some cake.

In the meantime, celebrate 44’s 55th with pictures of him doing one of the things he does best: kissing babies and embracing his inner child.

Amelia Acosta and Matthew Spieser contributed to an earlier version of this post.

The president is more amused than his young mohawked friend.

Getty Images

Obama greets one of his youngest fans in Prague in 2009.

Getty Images

This kid will never take off that cast.

Obama puffs out his cheeks to amuse an infant visitor to the Oval Office.

The president carefully inspects a classroom in Georgia.

The signature fist bump.

This baby gives Obama a fist bump of his own.

Keeping pace with children running through the White House.

Abraham Lincoln watches in approval as the president and a young girl share a hug in the Oval Office.

A young Ohio boy splits some strawberry pie with the POTUS.

The president said this shot of him and a pint-sized Spider-Man was his favourite of 2012.

A quick game of hoops in Missouri Valley, Iowa.

Obama circles his desk with a petite pink pal in hot pursuit.

It's hard to say who looks more dapper.

The president fills in as coach for his daughter Sasha's basketball game.

Sceptical infants peer at the POTUS through a window.

Obama hoists his young pal Simba-style.

A staring contest aboard Air Force One.

President Pied Piper.

Holding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's granddaughter in California.

Dandelion blowing on Martha's Vineyard.

An adorable tie-wearing baby visits the White House.

The president embraces a young girl during a 2011 visit to Ireland.

Sharing secrets.

First Lady Michelle Obama persuades her husband to join in the dancing in Mumbai, India.

The president greeting some Estonian schoolgirls.

The president at the heart of the La Follette Lancers' huddle in Madison, Wis.

Spelling out 'Ohio' with some of the state's happiest residents.

Trick or Treat!

The president and his daughters celebrate the arrival of Portuguese Water Dog Bo.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The POTUS casually greets a family at Stonehenge.

The president hoists a baby into the air during a visit to Japan.

A young boy reaches up to compare the president's hair to his own.

Secret secrets.

White House Flickr/Pete Souza

One White House staffer is extra excited at this encounter.

White House Flickr/Pete Souza

This is Lincoln Rose Pierce Smith, the daughter of former deputy press secretary Jamie Smith.

White House Flickr/Pete Souza

The president also fits in with a slightly older crowd.

Obama says hello to a set of twins on the South Lawn.

The president lets this first grader touch up his hairdo.

Nice baby face.

A presidential cheek pinch.

POTUS reaching out to a younger fan.

You've got something on your face.

Flickr/White House

Hi! (Or bye!)

Flickr/The White House
The President exchanges a wave with Alya Dorelien Bitar, one-year-old daughter of Maher Bitar, the outgoing National Security Council Director for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, and his wife, Astrid Dorelien, during a family photo in the Oval Office.

In his most natural state.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
The President carries the twin boys of Katie Beirne Fallon, Director of Legislative Affairs, into the Oval Office just a few months after they were born.

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