First birthday for leap year youngster – and it’s ‘happy 18th’ for pensioner

Harriet Brooks with her first Birthday cake and (below) Jacqueline Dodgson celebrates her 72nd birthday.
Harriet Brooks with her first Birthday cake and (below) Jacqueline Dodgson celebrates her 72nd birthday.

MOST children find the wait for their birthday to come around an agonising one.

But a mere 365 days is nothing for this pretty in pink youngster.

Jacqueline Dodgson celebrates her 72nd birthday.

Jacqueline Dodgson celebrates her 72nd birthday.

Because Harriet Brooks has patiently waited four years to celebrate her first real birthday.

The youngster was born on February 29 known as leap day – so her actual birthday only comes around once every four years.

Today she will be celebrating her first official birthday since she was born – and her family threw her a huge fancy dress party – complete with a gigantic pink cake – to celebrate.

Mum Celeste said: “Hattie was delighted with her party and was looking forward to her first real birthday.

“It is quite a difficult thing for her to understand and we normally celebrate with her on February 28.

“She was a couple of weeks early when she was born and I was very surprised when she arrived on leap day.

“We told her she could have a big party for her fourth birthday and she loved every minute of it.

“It is quite a special day for her.”

Across the coast in South Shore, Jacqueline Dodgson is also celebrating a landmark date today.

The pensioner has finally turned 18 – although it has taken her 72 long years to get there.

Mrs Dodgson, of Sunnyhurst Park, South Shore, will also be celebrating the milestone with a party – and maybe her first legal drink.

She said: “It is wonderful to finally reach 18, it has been a long time coming.

“My friends have been very kind and bought me a birthday card with 18 on it and even a cake in the shape of the number 18.

“It has never bothered me having to celebrate my birthday on February 28 but there is something very special about getting to celebrate on my real birthday.”

Mrs Dodgson’s friends have arranged for her to enjoy a buffet party at her home today.

And she is hoping to go out for a celebratory birthday meal at a later date.

She said: “I feel so lucky with how much my friends and carers have spoiled me.

“Andrea my carer from Napier Care Services has taken the day of work to do my buffet and my hairdresser James Daniels not only did my hair but got me a cake.

“People have been so kind in helping make my 18th real birthday extra special.”

A leap year contains one additional day in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year.

In this country, it is a tradition that women may only propose marriage on leap years – so all those single men should be on the look out.

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