Leap Year babies can celebrate on actual birthday


Persons born on Feb. 29 are often called a “leapling” or a “leap-year baby”.

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Haley McDonald (right) enjoys letting her leap-year baby mother, Jennifer, know she is actually the older of the two.

Modern calendar years have 365 days, but a complete revolution around the Sun (one solar year) takes approximately 365 days and 6 hours. An extra 24 hours accumulates every four years, requiring an extra calendar day be added to align the calendar with the sun’s apparent position. Without the added day, the seasons would move back in the calendar, leading to confusion about when to undertake activities dependent on weather, ecology, or hours of daylight.

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Bobbie Gotshall (above) turns three in leap-year birthdays this year.

When Bobbie Gotschall of Carrollton was born prematurely in 2004, the last thing on her parents’ minds was the date she was born.

They were worried about her vital signs and making sure she was breathing. About three weeks after Bobbie was born, her mother realized she was a leap year baby. This year Bobbie will turn three in leap year birthdays or 12. Since she can actually celebrate on the 29th she, along with friends and family, are going to Chuck E. Cheese in Canton. Normally the family celebrates on the weekend near the end of February.

Bobbie likes to play with Little Pet Shop animals and My Little Pony dolls and ponies.

She is the daughter of Megan Gotshall and the late Corey Gotschall. She is a fifth grade student at Bell-Herron Middle School.

When leap-year baby Jennifer McDonald of Mechanicstown celebrates her “authentic intercalary” birthday, she will turn nine years old. Her oldest daughter, Haley, is 10 years old.

“Haley thinks it is hilarious,” stated Jennifer, “because technically she is older than I am.” She also has six-year old twin daughters, Leah and Zoe. “The funny thing is when the twins turn 10, so will I,” Jennifer laughed.

Growing up, it was different and the other kids didn’t understand why she didn’t have a birth “day” each year. During non-leap years, she celebrates her birthday Feb. 28. “My grandpa used to tell me I couldn’t get my license until I was really 16” Jennifer stated. “I thought I would be really old. Then I finally figured it out.”

As her children have gotten older, they get really excited about her birthday. Jennifer and husband, Jeremy, plan to go to the Melting Pot in Pittsburgh for a 36th birthday celebration.