Leap year four-year-olds celebrate birthday for first time

Lewis Wishart and Lennon Hogg celebrate their birthday... finally. Picture: Jane Barlow

Lewis Wishart and Lennon Hogg celebrate their birthday... finally. Picture: Jane Barlow

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THEY might be four years old, but yesterday Lennon Hogg and Lewis Wishart celebrated their birthday for the first time with cake, presents and a host of family and friends.

The strange anomaly is the result of the two boys being born on February 29 – the extra day that occurs every leap year to keep the calendar in line.

And 2016 also marks the first time the classmates could celebrate their birthdays on the same day, as Lennon’s family usually mark the occasion on February 28, and Lewis’s on March 1.

But the pair were happily oblivious to the special circumstances as they tucked into a cake decorated with a single candle at Craigroyston Primary School’s nursery.

Lewis, from Muirhouse, even got mixed up and thanked Santa for his presents.

The youngster, who cele­brated his birthday with ten friends at his house after nursery, enjoyed a bumper day of gifts that saw his bedroom redecorated and a new bunk bed disguised as a castle installed – complete with a ladder at one end and a slide on the other.

The unusual present even doubles up as a den, with a tent underneath and over the bed to enable him to hide from mum and dad.

He also received clothes, building blocks and Thomas the Tank Engine toys, as well as a home-baked victoria sponge made by mum Nadine.

Dad John, 36, said: “We didn’t really plan on doing a big, massive thing. We’re just keeping it quiet – though with ten kids running around it isn’t exactly quiet.”

Meanwhile, his classmate Lennon was set to celebrate at Brewers Fayre last night with 18 members of his extended family, including grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins and his four older brothers.

Lennon, who is also from Muirhouse, was born with club feet, bad knees, a bad hip and crooked fingers as a result of arthrogryposis, a condition that causes curved joints.

Doctors initially told his mum Tammy Spiers that he would not be strong enough to survive outside the womb.

But the 33-year-old ignored advice to terminate her pregnancy and now, four years later, insists Lennon’s early birth on February 29 marks a “special birthday for a special boy”.

She said the four-year-old was delighted with his presents, which included a Paw Patrol bed to liven up his bedroom, a toy dinosaur, cars and clothes. And Lennon was even set to tuck into more cake later in the day as the whole family gathered to mark what is technically his first ever birthday.

Tammy said: “We usually just have a little tea party in the house, but this year we’re going out with the whole family. He doesn’t know there’s anything unusual about his birthday.”

Leap years, which see February gain an extra day, occur every four years to keep the calendar in line.

The anomaly is a result of the widely-used Gregorian calendar being slightly out of sync with the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, which takes 365.2422 days to complete.

alistair.grant@edinburghnews.com