To pierce or not to pierce (ears, that is)
posted by: JoAnn
“Momma? When can I get my ears pierced?”
This was a question I’d anticipated, but not for a few more years. Claire is four-years old, and I knew it would come up eventually.
I answered with my standard I’ve-been-caught-off-guard response, which consists of, “Well, that’s a great question!” …stalling, stalling, stalling. “Why do you ask?” …an answer with a question always gives you more time.
That’s when I found out a little girl at Claire’s preschool has her ears pierced. The other girls had been talking about this fact at recess.
That’s the point in the conversation with Claire that I was able to postpone the true answer by telling her I’d talk to Daddy about it and we’d make a decision about it later. …stall tactic complete. For now.
It was at that point that all of my own childhood memories came flooding back.
When I was younger, I was not allowed to have my ears pierced. My mother’s personal beliefs were what they were, and we knew that we’d never be allowed to do it. In fact, I didn’t get my ears pierced until after I’d graduated from college.
But, I remember when the girls in my class started getting them done, and I wanted so badly to have mine done, too. In fact, I vowed that if I ever had a girl, I wouldn’t be as strict as my mom was with us.
“As soon as she’s old enough to ask me for them,” I told myself, “she can get them pierced.”
I had no idea when then-mythical daughters would ask questions, but I certainly wasn’t expecting that to happen at age four.
So, I talked with my husband about it, and he agreed that four seemed a little young. Or did it? Admittedly he didn’t know, and neither did I. I mean, there are people who get their baby’s ears pierced at birth. There are cultures that dictate time-lines for these things.
With most everything, we rely on our own childhoods as a jumping-off point and make decisions from there. Unfortunately, we’re on our own on this one: My husband never got his ears pierced and has no sisters, and it was frowned upon in my family.
So, we’re starting from square one.
We talked about it and agreed that we want to pair the ear piercing with a milestone: Maybe going to Kindergarten? Maybe when she reaches a certain age? I know that if she has something solid to look forward to, the answers to the “May I now? May I now? Whataboutnow?” questions will be easier.
But, we haven’t decided what that will be.
We agreed that we’d talk about it when she asked again, and thankfully, that hasn’t happened…
What about you? Do you have your ears pierced, and was it a big deal? Do you have a set time for this milestone for your child? Share your stories!