The Great Ear Piercing: Why This Rite of Passage is Painful (On Many Levels)
posted by: Amber Johnson
I recently had a conversation with a friend about getting her daughter’s ears pierced and it brought back a flood of memories.
Once upon a time, I was only kidding when I said the following to my daughter:
“Hey, Sweetie. Do you think you want to try to get your ears pierced again?”
“Yes, Mom. I think I am ready.”
Ready for what? Another meltdown that resulted in my anxiety attack?
I haven’t had an iron-clad rule like some parents when my child should get her ears pierced. I had mine done in kindergarten and we made the same attempt a few years ago when my daughter was the same age during a family visit to Canada. I was rather indifferent when my sister-in-law Jane suggested it and my daughter was game so we headed over to the mall.
But then she saw The Devil’s Gun that was aimed at her virgin lobe.
Our first mistake was not returning when there were two staffers who could shoot the gun synchronously at each ear. The second mistake was being there in the first place.
An hour later, we emerged from that store with a traumatized mother and a hysterical kid who only got half an ear pierced (a feat only achieved by a Tasmanian devil whirlwind). Since that time, she developed an irrational fear of needles and two people needed to hold her down during immunizations shots.
As the Great Ear Piercing approached, her apprehension rose and the night prior, she had a nightmare that they refused to pierce her ears because she didn’t have curly hair. As a possessor of curly locks, I deemed such “discrimination” would be my dreamland.
The next day we went to Colorado Mills and I told her she was in charge. “I want to get my ears pierced,” she brazenly told the staffer at Claire’s. The women swiftly seated her, let her pick out her starter earrings and I choked down the cost of her diamond 5 mm selection. I was now invested on many levels.
“Now, as soon as I open these earrings, you can’t back out,” she warned my daughter.
“OK,” she squeaked, her confidence faltering.
A darling 2-year-old stood waiting for her turn, marveling at us. I turned to the parents. “I’d strongly advise you not to let her see this. It may get ugly.”
It’s best not to prematurely traumatize the littles.
They ushered her away, my daughter grabbed my hand in a death-grip, the staffers positioned themselves, counted down and shot. After three years of build-up, I braced myself for the fallout and then there was…nothing. No scream. No meltdown. Just pain, shock and then jubilation.
She let go of my throbbing hand. “Are they really pierced?” she inquired.
“You did it,” I whispered, beaming with pride she had overcome a major fear. As far as I was concerned, those diamond earrings were as good as gold.
And almost as expensive. But I’ll take it.
Do you have an ear-piercing policy and minimal age?