Leap Year Birthdays

I intended to write about Leap Year birthdays today, but am slightly deterred now that Parks and Recreation already covered that topic this past week. (Side note: I'm going to a Parks and Rec-themed party tonight, can you think of anything better to do with your bonus day?) All the same, I did once have a friend, Chris, who was born on a Leap Day, so let's do this anyway.

Birthdays are everything when you're little, so considering that, Chris was pretty good-natured about only having a proper birthday every four years. Things would have probably gone better for him, however, had my first grade teacher not taunted him for it. I distinctly remember her leading the class in a chant of, "Chris is only one! Chris is still a baby! Chris is only one! Chris is still a baby!" As six-and-seven-year-olds, it was fun to laugh at a baby.

I used to love my first grade teacher, but looking back, I think I loved her out of fear. She was like an emotionally manipulative dictator. She had a cardboard box known as "The Whiners' Box" that you'd have to go stand in if you were caught crying or complaining (which is the natural result of a teacher-led chant that you are a baby). She'd also announce to the whole class if she caught you picking your nose, which is every little kid's #1 hobby. And there's the time when my friend Vivek, a math prodigy and future Harvard student who was bussed to the high school to take advanced math classes even in elementary school, missed one question on a first-grade level standardized math test we all had to take. Obviously, he was disappointed for making what must have been a careless mistake, but my teacher honed in on his insecurity and had the class chant, "Vivek got one wrong!" until he cried. Then he had to go stand in the Whiners' Box.

As for Leap Baby Chris, he eventually had the last laugh. He proved he was anything but a baby when he hit puberty well before the rest of us. By the end of elementary school, none of us kids were shaving yet, except for Chris, who actually had to shave his face every day out of necessity. Not bad for a "3" year-old.

Anyhoo, Happy 7th birthday, Chris. And I hope my first grade teacher uses her Leap Day to take a flying leap.


Susan said...

I noticed that a disproportionate number of tv characters have leap year birthdays..You have to tell me who this first grade teacher is!

Can you tell I'm catching up on my reading today?

Kevin said...

Ms. Clemens. I loved her as a first grader, and then grew increasingly retroactively terrified of her as the years passed.