Why 2016 is a rubbish leap year

“2016 is a leap year,” NW announces as he fills in the dustbin/recycling schedule in the calendar.

Leap years. Rubbish.

I am stringing bits of dried pasta onto a ribbon while NG watches impassively, blowing on her nails which do not have nail polish on them.

“We all know what happens on a leap year, don’t we?” He winks. I have no idea what he’s talking about.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I say.

“You know … when the woman does everything for a change.” He grins with the carefree air of someone who’s had more than 3 hours’ sleep. I drop the ribbon and tiny pasta tubes scatter across the floor. NL fires into gear with impressive speed for a Labrador with arthritic hind legs.

What did you say?” I use the voice usually reserved for when NG refuses to brush her teeth. It is a mix of incredulity and calm disapproval I have been working on for a while.

His pen stops, mid-scribble. “You know, like for our wedding.”

I am not sure where this is going.

“I am not sure where this is going,” I say.

“Mummy, what is a leap? And what is a leap year?” twinkles NG, who has started to collect pasta for Baby Rabbit to wear as bracelets.

“That’s a really great question,” I say, because CBeebies is in the background and Nina is nattering away to her Neurons. “A leap is like a really, really high jump. And Daddy can tell you what happens in a leap year, as he seems to know best.

“I’m on shaky ground here, aren’t I?” NW says.

“Yes,” I say.

“Um. Gravity?” says NG.

NW puts the pen down with what someone who didn’t know him as well as I do might term frustration, but is actually barely muted rage. Gravity, having been personified a few months ago, is now referred to by my daughter approximately once every four words. With it becoming harder and harder to hold a conversation with NG without having to become gravity, it’s fair to say he’s becoming a bit of a lead balloon.

“Not gravity again. He’s everywhere,” he says. “I have a hard enough time explaining leap years without gravity getting involved.”

“Thanks for picking up those hints.”

NG looks confused. “But gravity can help you, Daddy. If you do a jump, gravity can pull. You. Down.”

“That’s right,” I say, spotting an opportunity. “If you do a great big metaphorical leap and feel a bit scared and don’t know where you’re going because you’re on shaky ground,” I look at him meaningfully, “gravity might be your only real hope.”

NW sighs, puts the calendar down and turns to NG. “OK. When it’s a leap year, ladies can ask men they love to marry them. And the year your mother and I got married, well … it was the same year as Kate and William and that was a leap year.”

“It wasn’t, actually,” I say. “They got married in 2011. And I didn’t ask you.” I am feeding NC with one hand and wiping NG’s face with the other and have just put a cup of coffee in front of NW so I definitely have the moral high ground.

“You sort of did. When we were in Rhodes. You dropped a LOT of hints.”

“Daddy, don’t. Go. On. The. Roads,” says NG firmly. “Or you will get squashed by a car.”

“Sorry,” he says.

“Stick to leap years,” I say. “They’re a bit safer.”

“And Mummy?” NG hasn’t finished yet.


“Don’t. Drop. Hints. OK? ‘Cos they will have to go in the bin. And you alREADY dropped my pasta!”

“OK, darling,” I say and resolve that when she’s old enough, NG can definitely ask Prince George to marry her.



Characters are abbreviated as follows:

NW – not William (husband and father)

NG – not George (daughter, sister and two and a half year old)

NC – not Charlotte (son, brother and four month old)

NL – not Lupo (a Labrador)

Pink Pear Bear
My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
A Bit Of Everything


  1. February 29, 2016 / 9:33 am

    Haha! Do kids actually like playing with pasta? Mine never would! #bigpinklink

    • Didn't we almost Anmer Hall
      February 29, 2016 / 9:41 am

      Yep, but NG doesn’t get much of a chance with NL around 🙂 #bigpinklink

  2. February 29, 2016 / 10:01 am

    Ooo definitely sounds like he was on shaky ground! Love the bit about dropped hints would need to go in the bin #bigpinklink

    • Didn't we almost Anmer Hall
      February 29, 2016 / 10:04 am

      Thank you Natalie – yes, I think it felt a little like everything was trashed that day! 😉 Have a great #LeapDay. #bigpinklink

  3. February 29, 2016 / 9:03 pm

    Love it as always! Your site is looking good-did you change the theme? God, I sound like a blog nerd asking that. Anyway, fab post, and loved the shout out to Nina and the Neurons. Quality viewing, although I’m not sure I’m a fan of a pigtail on someone in their thirties. #bigpinklink

    • Didn't we almost Anmer Hall
      February 29, 2016 / 9:48 pm

      Aww, thank you so much my lovely – yes, I did change the theme; I loved the last one but this one is much more user friendly (i.e. simpler). Yes, Nina … and Rebecca from ‘Let’s Play’ are BIG in our house. But the pigtails are not great, totally agree. #bigpinklink

    • Didn't we almost Anmer Hall
      March 1, 2016 / 8:19 am

      Thanks – yep, that bit is entirely truthful! #fartglitter

  4. March 1, 2016 / 3:36 pm

    Haha love this! Dropping hints in the bin is great! #bigpinklink

    • Didn't we almost Anmer Hall
      March 1, 2016 / 6:58 pm

      Thanks! 🙂 bigpinklink

  5. March 1, 2016 / 4:17 pm

    I think if my husband suggested I did everything for a day, he would find himself looking for alternative accommodation for the night! 😉 I love that dropping hints equates to actually asking. I wonder if you can use that in reverse? ‘You didn’t ask me to put the bins out!’ ‘No, but I dropped a lot of hints and apparently that is the same!!’ Thanks for linking up with us! #bigpinklink

    • Didn't we almost Anmer Hall
      March 1, 2016 / 6:59 pm

      Haha! I definitely think you can use it in reverse … in fact I’m pretty sure I have many a time! No problem – thanks for hosting 🙂 #bigpinklink

  6. March 1, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    Loving the gravity thing! I never even got a proper proposal. I chose the ring, the lady in the shop asked could I wear it then, and he said I suppose so. Die hard romantic, my hubby! #abitofeverything

    • Didn't we almost Anmer Hall
      March 2, 2016 / 5:15 am

      Amazing! Sounds a little bit familiar … can’t fault NW on the ring or the proposal but it was next to a bin of dog sh**!! 🙂 #abitofeverything

  7. March 4, 2016 / 10:57 am

    Don’t.Drop.Hints!!! Loved that- too funny! I have not heard of the Leap Year thing when you can ask a man to marry you? Interesting….very interesting… Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

    • Didn't we almost Anmer Hall
      March 4, 2016 / 1:04 pm

      You certainly can ask a man to marry you on 29th (though I don’t see why you can’t every day of the year if you want to!) Thanks for commenting 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it. #abitofeverything

  8. March 21, 2016 / 10:52 am

    What a brilliant post and the one I have just used to nominate you in the fresh voice category for the BIBs. 🙂

    • March 21, 2016 / 1:16 pm

      Woohoo! Thank you so much. That means an awful lot :). Just made my day – and v. glad you enjoyed the post! xx

  9. March 31, 2016 / 8:30 am

    Haha I love the little’s literal take on everything. You do get squashed on the roads!! We have had similar conversations in our house with little ears making it sound even funnier!

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