Although he's eight years old

Although he's eight years old

Chilliwack’s leap year kid turns two

Strathcona elementary celebrates Grade 2 student Liam Howlett's birthday, which only comes around once every four years.

Liam Howlett has got to be the tallest, heftiest, chattiest two year old there ever was.

At three and a half feet tall, 40 pounds, and an extensive vocabulary, this kid has surely got to be a boy wonder.

Nope, but he is a leap year baby.

Born on Feb. 29, 2004, young Liam has spent the last four birthdays announcing that he’s “still only one.” But yesterday, in front of his entire student body at Strathcona elementary, he was finally able to announce that he’d moved up a year.

He’s two now.

Liam’s slow-paced age turnover has been great amusement for family and friends over the last eight years.

When he’s supposed to be 20 years old, he’ll actually be five. When he’s supposed to be 40 years old, he’ll be 10. When he’s supposed to be 60 years old, he still won’t be old enough to get a driver’s license at just 15.

“He’s going to be a pretty old man by the time he can get his driver’s license,” laughed mom Rhonda Bridgeo. “He’ll be ready to retire by then.”

Liam’s younger sister, at a whopping six years old, is technically older than him. And his grandmother, who mailed him a card earlier this week, notified him that by the time she’s 70, he’ll only be three.

His birthday is like a fountain of youth.

But Liam wasn’t supposed to be born on Feb. 29. His due date was Feb. 26, the same day his mom’s water had broke.

The labour, however, proved to be a difficult one.

“I kept going in and out of labour,” said Rhonda, who didn’t think once about the possibility of her son being born on the day that only comes around once every four years. “It was a really hard delivery; I was more worried about getting the baby out than the day he’d be born on.”

When the nearly 10-pounder was finally born on Feb. 29, at 8:35 a.m., excitement filled his mom’s belly.

“It’s a day that not many others are born on,” said Rhonda. “It makes it a little more special.”

And for Liam, despite the years of ribbing he is sure to endure, he, too, loves that his birthday falls on a unique day. Without it, he wouldn’t have grand birthday celebrations when his real birthday does finally come around, and he wouldn’t have an entire school celebrating with him like Strathcona elementary did yesterday.

Liam’s next birthday will be Feb. 29, 2016.

kbartel@theprogress.com

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