WHEN WAS MY CHILD BORN?
Your child was born on Leap Day, or Leap Year Day. They were NOT born *ON Leap Year*.
*Leap Year* is the whole year. Leap Year lasts all year long. We were born ON Leap Day.
WHAT DO I CALL MY CHILD?
We are Leap Day babies, not Leap Year babies. Anyone can be born IN a Leap Year. We were
born ON Leap Day. There's a big difference there! So, for example; your child is a Leap Day baby,
who was born on Leap Year Day.
HOW OLD IS MY CHILD?
Your child is the same age as any other child born in the same year as your child.
The difference is that those of us born on February 29 have this special *thing* about our birthday
that can be a bit confusing at first, to adults and children. But it's super cool once they get it.
It is NOT correct to say your 8 year old child is "Two years old" as it is obvious they are not. There are
a few ways to say it correctly. Here are some to think about:
1. My child is two Leap Years old.
2. My child is two at 8.
3. My child is 8 at two.
4. My child is 2.
You get a better response when it is said correctly, and it is important to be correct.
When people ask how old I am I tell them "I am 13". Period. They usually don't understand so I explain my Leapness and tell them to figure out my *annual* age. With kids, I help them with the math. But I like to let the person asking figure it out. It helps them to grasp the concept that Leap Years happen every four years.
Please let them be the ages they are going to be if that's what they want at that age. You know, "4" and "8" or "12".
Please try not to make such a big deal over them being "1" or "2" when they don't want to be. They've already been 1 and 2 and want to enjoy being 8 or 12.
Something like "You're turning 8 on your second birthday!" or "You'll be 3 again on your twelfth
birthday" might be good alternatives to use. Some little Leapers grow up to really like the whole
concept. Others rather celebrate the annual age they are turning.
Until they reach an age they can understand what is going on, it is important to allow them to age
like everyone else does. It's only right, really, because we do age just like every one else does.
When it is your baby's First Birthday (one year old) they are only 1/4 in Leap Years. First Birthday's
are sometimes made a big deal out of. The baby probably wont remember that event. It's usually
for the adults anyway.
Sooo, it might be a good idea to go ahead and have the First Birthday party that you want while
they are too young to have an opinion. You can do it again, depending on the child, when they are
four years old, at 1.
And please remember... they still *get* a birthday, and they still turn each age. Leap Day Babies
simply get to celebrate the actual day we were born on differently than others do.
Yes, simple as that.
WHEN DO I CELEBRATE MY CHILDS BIRTHDAY?
In Leap Years, celebrate their birthday ON February 29th. We only get to do that every 4 years.
In off years, we can celebrate on February 28th because we were born in February. However,
we were born the day after the 28th so we can celebrate on March 1st if we want to.
Or both because we can! And some of us do!
Some Leap Day Babies pick a day out of the year not in February or March. They choose what
day will be their birthday that year. When it comes to celebrating at a birthday party, the frog is
the big deal.
So are leaping lizards. Getting the child items that reflect their Leapness is always fun. You can
find some fun items in the LEAP THIS shop.
WHEN WILL MY CHILD BE OF LEGAL?
Depending on where you live will determine when your child may drive or be considered an adult.
Regardless of when we celebrate, we will not be our next age until after midnight of February 28.
No matter what the next day is; February 29, or March 1, depending on the year.
When it comes to getting a free meal at a restaurant, or something like that, it is the managers
decision. I have heard of many Leap Day babies who got the free meal, or they got to get in free,
or they received the discount. It's usually up to the manager.
The argument? The 29th is not there, and we're just talking about a meal, or a one-time freebie.
It's simply fun. And some people can actually see the fun in this. Which is cool.
When I was 11@44 I asked the manager of the movie theater, a group of us went to, if I could get
the "12 and under" price because I had just recently turned 11. He thought that was so cool he let
me, and my friends, in for free! I'll admit it, THAT was fun!
TEASING YOUR OWN CHILD
I have heard stories about parents or grandparents who have teased their little Leapling. Not cool.
Please do not tease your little Leap Day baby about their birthday. They will get enough of that
outside the home from people who don't understand the coolness of Leap Day.
Please don't say things like, "If you don't do your chores your birthday wont be on the calendar
next year and you wont get a birthday!" That is just mean.
This is your child, who believes you, trusts you and takes what you say as truth. Please don't use
their birth date against them.
They need you on their side as someone who 'gets it' while others don't.
Please continue to explain to them why their birth date is not there, until they are of an age they
can understand it.
Learn all you can about Leap Day to make it easier on you, and your little Leapling.
When it makes sense to you, it will be easier to explain it to them. And, it's your extra day too,
so why not know what it's all about, right? Hey, Bonus to you! ;0)
Please don't make a big deal over them being "1" or "2" when they do not want to be. They've
already been 1 and 2. If they are really excited about turning 4, 8, or 12, please rejoice with them,
and celebrate that.
Something like "You're turning 8 on your second birthday!" or "You'll be 3 again on your twelfth
birthday" are good alternatives to use. You'll find a comfortable way to say it to your child.
Do you see what I mean here? Allow them to be 4 and 8 while you celebrate their Leapness.
When they get older, and have a clearer understanding of this day they were born on, they just
may appreciate it more.
And they'll appreciate it more if you made it a positive thing for them when they were young.
I Thank You for getting Leapified for your Leapling!
WHAT TO EXPLAIN TO YOUR CHILD
Parents love to over use "It's because your special!" Well, for me, that only worked for so long.
I wanted to know why I was special, and, I still wanted to know why my birthday wasn't on the
calendar every year.
The technical reasons don't really work on kids that are very young. "Because you're special"
will last the first few years. However, we STILL want concrete answers to our "why" question.
My suggestion is to tell your little Leap Day baby the truth from the beginning. Here's what the
Your child was born on February 29, Leap Year Day. Or Leap Day as some call it. Either is fine.
Leap Day represents balance between the universe and the planet earth itself. OK, maybe that's
to much to understand. It represents balance between the way humans keep track of time and
how the planet rotates around the sun. That's a little easier to understand.
Leap Day represents balance between the seasons and the calendar. Pretty basic. Depending
on their age they'll understand. But they probably wont really "get it" until their 2nd and 3rd
birthday (when they are 8 and 12).
Prepare yourself, and, especially, your Leapling, for the questions you'll get from others. Maybe
you already get them. If so, then you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't heard the
questions, you will in due time. You will here these questions over and over. And that's OK.
People are curious.
1. When do you celebrate?
2. How old are you really?
3. What does it feel like to not get a birthday?
The questions may sound ridiculous, with obvious answers. I think it's the way the question is
asked. Of course we get a birthday. We age, we celebrate that age every year, and we "get" a
The question people are really asking, and may not know how, is: What is it like to have a
birthday on a date that's not on the calendar every year?
Some may even blurt out "Oh my gosh! You poor thing!" Just calmly explain to them what you
do, and that it's nothing to seek therapy over.
WHY IT'S SUCH A BIG DEAL
The generations alive today do not know life without clocks and calendars. We have always
been able to tell what time it is, what day it is, what month it is, what year it is.
There wasn't an 8th day where God said 'Let there be clocks and calendars in abundance'.
Someone had to figure it out. Several people did. And then it took thousands of generations
to perfect it.
The calendar has been through many changes. It is now at its' most perfect, so they say. Some
may disagree, and that's OK. The point is, the calendar we use today; the device we use to keep
track of days, weeks, months and years, has been the way it is now for hundreds and hundreds
of years. There's a reason for that. We experience the seasons the same time every year. The
seasons are in the same set of months, every year. THAT is a big deal.
Think about this for a minute... If we didn't have an extra day to keep the calendar in sync with
the seasons, we would eventually have to celebrate holidays that happen in one season, in a
totally different season. In the parts of the world where Christmas is celebrated in the winter, it
will eventually end up being celebrated in the summer.
To plant, grow and harvest, we need dependable time frames we can count on. If we didn't have
that extra day to keep the season's lined up with the calendar, we would have a horrible time
trying to maintain our crops.
Leap Year Day was added to the calendar when February was the last month of the year. When
February was promoted to the second position of the calendar, it retained the responsibility of
keeping the calendar in line with the seasons.
It's because of that extra day, February 29, Leap Year Day, that the calendar is as perfect as it is.
How wonderful that is. How cool that we were born on such a great day in history. Not everyone
will agree with me, I know. And that's OK.
From the research I've done in the last 5 Leap Years (come on, how many years is that?) I've
learned that I was born on a day that represents something really cool. And that I have something
unique about me that not too many people have. That feels good. I'll admit it. It's neat. It's fun.
It's cool even.
OK - it didn't feel good when I got teased in elementary school. My second grade teacher asked if
we knew someone born on February 29. I rose my hand and told her I was born on that day. She
said, right there in front of the class... "Oh you poor child" - Can you believe that?
Teachers today have so much more information about Leap Year than teachers in the past. But
there still might be an UnLeapified teacher lurking somewhere in a school district we might have
missed. If you know of one, give them our web address www.leapyearday.com.
So be aware, be Leap Year Day Aware, and make sure your child's teacher is too!
Oh there are kids who will sing "You don't get a birthday" in that sing-song style kids do so well.
Or, say things like, "You can't play with us, you're only a baby." But at least now, more than ever
maybe, teachers, students and parents will have a clearer understanding of what Leap Year is,
and what Leap Day is, and why. And from that I hope they will all think of it as I do. That it's a
very cool day to recognize in general, and it's a very cool day to be born on.
So be patient with your Leap Day baby. Teach them what it is, why it is, and how special they are
for being born on a day in history that represents balance and harmony.
There is no competition like other "holiday babies" experience. We are certainly a unique bunch
of people and you can learn more about Leap Year and Leap Day on this site.
Check out the TEACHERS page for fun facts and Leapified learning tools. My prayer is that you
will educate yourself on the subject, so you are able to help your child understand what it means
to be ... a Leap Day Baby.
WHO AM I? Raenell is the name, and Leaping is my game!
I am not a child psychologist, or a doctor, or even a parent!
I have been a child. And I am a Leap Day baby.
I simply want to give you a Leap Day baby's perspective
to help you understand your child's Leapness.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions
or comments regarding this subject. My email is here.