Have you ever heard of or met a leap year baby? I read the other day that babies born on Feb. 29 are called “leaplings” or “leapers.” Funny, isn’t it?

Have you ever heard of or met a leap year baby? I read the other day that babies born on Feb. 29 are called “leaplings” or “leapers.” Funny, isn’t it?

I wish I was born on leap day. Legally, I could reduce my age by a fourth, which would make me very young and in the prime of life. Better yet, if I had been born on leap day, I would be the youngest girl in my family, making all of my sisters older than me. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

According to Wikipedia, “A leap year is a year containing one additional day in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, a calendar that had the same number of days in each year would, over time, drift with respect to the event it was supposed to track. By occasionally inserting an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year.”

I’m sure this is all very important because leap day, Feb. 29, is Wednesday.

One other blessing of Feb. 29  is the tradition that accompanies the day. Women have the privilege of proposing marriage to men, instead of the other way around. This tradition includes the rule that if the male refuses the proposal, he owes the woman a silk gown or kiss, provided she was wearing a red petticoat at the moment she popped the question.

I wonder if Wal-Mart carries red petticoats or could get them in by tomorrow?

Back to Wikipedia. In a 1288 law, Queen Margaret of Scotland (age 5) required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man.

Well, I just heard from a sister. She said if I had been a leap year baby, I would not get a birthday present again for four years.

May I conclude with a poem of my own?

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November;
Except February, with eight plus twenty,
Barring every four years, then 29’s plenty.

Think leapling, red petticoat, a proposal bliss,
Then she will receive a yes, gown or kiss.

No matter, enjoy this rare special day
And be glad it is not your four-year birthday!