February tomorrow. Nice short month with two of my family’s birthdays contained within. That is, two if you ask the rest of them but just one if you ask me. How can that be? Your birthday is either in February or it isn’t. Surely?
Well no. It’s not that straight forward because my son has the dubious honour of being a Leapling- a child born on 29th February. And so exactly when his birthday falls is something of a moot point and one about which we all become aerated regularly.
Without disclosing too much information, I knew there was a chance that he could be born on leap day from the very outset. His due date was the 22nd but it wasn’t that big a stretch of the imagination that he might be born on the 29th.
And he was. And so now each year we have to decide when to celebrate. So far he has had one real birthday and so if you ask him how old he is he will tell you, appropriately coached by his sisters, that he is 5/1. But when do we do presents and cake on the other years? The first year we went for 28th February on the basis that I needed to write his birthday on the calendar and he was born in February. The next year we went for 1st March because I was still pregnant on 28th February and he was born the following day. Neither of these seemed right. If I had to choose between them I would go for 1st March but I am in a minority of one. I did give him the chance to choose, explaining the options and the reasons for them in careful detail. However, he quickly worked out that if he opted for the February date he would get his presents sooner.
I have toyed with the idea of picking a random date, perhaps in the summer. After all, it wouldn’t be his birthday in exactly the same way that 28th February and 1st March aren’t. But no one but me seems to like this plan. And his other relations get confused when I keep swapping his birthday around.
So this year it will be 28th February notwithstanding the fact that of all the possible options that one cannot possibly be right.No doubt it will continue to be complicated as he grows, starts high school at 2, university at 4 etc…