My twin daughters were born on February 29th. Once the joyous event had been confirmed (I’d been in labour for over twenty four hours in a delivery suite with no windows – I had absolutely no idea what day it was or what my name was) I was rather pleased with this quirky turn of events. My previous set of twins (for those new to my blog, I breed in batches, like a hamster) had been born on Bonfire night, so it seemed fitting that their siblings inherit an similarly interesting birth date.
I wondered if it would save money. Surely it was a reasonable assumption that a child who only had a birthday once every four years would be cheaper than a regular annual child? Apparently not. It seems they still expect a yearly present, a party, the whole birthday she-bang.
The chances of being born on leap day are around one in every 1500 – not exactly common, but usual enough for those affected to be given their own name. Leaplings. It’s rather endearing, don’t you think? It makes me think of the German mein liebling – my darling.
My own little Leaplings are now three and unusually, given the statistical probability, are friends with another Leapling born into the same ante-natal group. What are the odds of that?
My next door neighbour is also a Leapling and her husband takes great delight in telling his Rotarian colleagues that his wife is technically just seventeen. He thinks it makes him a bit of a rogue, but I suspect it just makes him sound like a pervert. Either way, she’s still sixty eight.
The question I’m always asked in relation to my two, is “when do you celebrate their birthdays?” The first year we tried March 1st, for no other reason than my mother is wildly superstitious about celebrating something that hasn’t happened yet. It didn’t really feel like their birthday, so last year we opted for February 28th. That’s their legal birthday as far as milestones such as driving, drinking or voting are concerned.
This year we explained the situation to the girls and offered them the choice. E (the elder by sixteen minutes) went for February 28th. G, lagging behind as usual, chose the following day. It’s a good solution for twins, who otherwise must tire of sharing the same birthday, but I’m looking forward to next year, when we’ll have a big knees up on February 29th especially for the Leaplings.
Happy sort of birthday, mein Leaplings.