Birthdays are strange, but it is especially difficult for Lokes to forget all six family members who can boast special birthdays that consist of repeated numbers.
Mr. Shamen Loke, 40, was born on January 1 (01/01). His 39-year-old wife, Yau Mei Siong, was born September 9 (09/09).
Lucius, the eldest son, energetic and temperamental seven, was born on June 6 (06/06). Four-year-old Andrius, who is the most adventurous in the lot and learned to ride a two-wheeled bike at age two, was born on January 1 (01/01). The talkative and jovial Justinius, two, was born April 4 (04/04). And just one month ago, Kaius, the child of the family, was born October 10 (10/10).
The four boys were delivered naturally – their birth was not raised these days, parents said in The Sunday Times.
"It is a blessing, every one of them is worship," said Mr. Loke, who chose their names.
Lucius, Andrius, Justinius and Kaius mean light, courage, justice and joy in Latin, he added.
However, the perfect record almost did not happen to a couple who are both civil servants.
The child Kaius was supposed to be on October 13, said Mr. Loke. "We did not plan to plan our fourth child and when we knew about his arrival, we did not expect the date to be October 10th.
"We felt it would be a bonus if it had happened, most importantly, the baby and mother were safe and healthy."
The coincidence is "better than winning the lottery," said Madam Yau, who began training three days before the birth of her fourth child.
"I was not too convinced that the date would happen. Because the time was coming, the people around us kept their fingers crossed."
Not that a couple bought a lottery with these numbers. But Loka's father won several times with a combination of "1199" – twice for Mr Loke's birthday and for his wife for 9 years.
"After the first birthday, relatives and friends should have foreseen the date of birth of subsequent pregnancies," said Ms. Yau, whose two older sons are aware of their unique birthday. When she was pregnant with her fourth son, both boys told their little brother in her womb that she "came out on October 10". It happened almost every night, she said.
But there are no secret patterns, Madam Yau added, who believes her boys "chose" the date of birth. "We hope it will be a story that their children and grandchildren will tell them in the future."
Her neo-gynecologist Ben Neo of Ben Neo Clinic for Women, who sent all four sons, said he had not seen anything like Lokes.
"It is unique that all six members of the family have such birthdays," he added. Neo.
But Mr Loke does not intend to extend family collections of special birthdays with more children.
"There are times when I think," How would my daughter look if I had one? "and" How else would I be like a father if I had a daughter? "he said. "I would like to have more children, but in reality it is not practical to consider our age, finances and time for all our children."
Mr. Loke met his wife when they were undergraduates at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
During their courting, they were already talking about their unique dates of birth. The couple were married in 2006.
The registration mark for the white Toyos Estima Lokes – like the previous two cars – has a "1199". The family lives in the former executive maisonette in Toa Payoh. "At first we did not compete and marry for our birthday," said Madame Yau. "We met at NUS and we set out."
No one could then guess that the birthday of her family would later become a triggering interview.
Even filling in registration forms at clinics and preschool schools would attract people's attention to their date of birth. "When I respond to the fact that all my children come to this world naturally, they will be amazed or surprised."
Their unique birth dates also make it difficult for their loved ones to forget their birthday, Madam Yau laughed, whose brother was born October 10 (10/10).
"People who are close to us think that we are strange and have to be very blessed to have these birthdays."
Mr. Loke also admitted that it is impossible to forget the birthday of his children or his wife. He considers his family as "his greatest success".
"I feel happiness and satisfaction when I come home and see my family," he added.
"People often ask me if I buy 4D but I will tell them no, I have the best price at home."
When she was pregnant with her fourth son, both boys told their little brother in her womb that she "came out on October 10".
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission to reproduce.