The Piercing

2004-01-04     

     Ever since my daughter found out that I got my ears pierced when I was five, she’s been bugging me to get hers done.  (Monkey see, monkey do.)  I told her that she had to wait until the end of soccer season, and I finally made good on that promise over the weekend. She was on top of the world with anticipation over this big event.  I, on the other hand, had a gut feeling that this whole ordeal would somehow come back to give me a big, fat headache.

     I took her to one of those “Claire’s” stores in the mall, since I know of no other piercing places that don’t also do tattoos and body art (not really the childhood memory kind of a place I had in mind for her).  And let it be said that I despise “Claire’s” with every fiber of my being.  It’s like some douchebag idiot decided it would be a great idea to cram as much shitty merchandise as is humanly possible into one teensy tiny area of space. You can’t even walk in that freaking place without knocking off a headband or a necklace.  It makes me totally claustrophobic, and I want to claw out my eyeballs. However, being the awesome mom that I am, I pushed aside my contempt for this retail hellhole and whisked my daughter through their overcrowded doors.  

     The assistant manager explained the whole process to my daughter who took it all in with her very innocent little hole-less ears. She described how she would have to keep the earrings in for eight weeks, clean them three times a day, and turn them four times a day. I asked her again for the five thousandth time if she was absolutely sure she wanted to do this, to which she emphatically replied, “YES!” She then had to pick out which earrings she wanted from a board that had everything from itty bitty birthstones to itty bitty flowers. She hemmed and hawed for a good while as I signed off on all the paperwork.  Finally, she decided to go with the itty bitty pink daisies, and we were ready to poke some holes.

     I asked the woman if she would pierce both ears at the same time, so we could get it all over with in one fell swoop. She called over another associate who measured out just where to put the holes and marked the spots with a purple marker.  My daughter just sat there and grinned away, while I second-guessed this whole dumb ass decision of mine.  When I looked at the twinkle in my daughter’s eyes, though, I knew there was no turning back.  She squeezed my hand very very tightly, and just like that, she was sporting itty bitty flowers on her earlobes. She was a freaking rock star, too, never crying or even so much as flinching. I thought she’d explode with happiness when she took that first look in the mirror at her new and improved ears, and I breathed a sigh of relief that we’d made it through without even one little tear.

     That night, we cleaned her ears and turned the earrings just like we were supposed to, and she went to sleep lying perfectly still on her back so as not to jack up her new ears.  The next morning, she insisted on a high ponytail to show off her pink sparklers and practically ran all the way to school to show her friends.  They oohed and ahhed over them, and all seemed good in the hood…until that night.  For whatever reason, she had a complete freak-out at bedtime over the fact that she couldn’t take out the earrings for eight weeks (even though she’d insisted that she was cool with this very fact less than twenty four hours prior to this!)  She couldn’t understand why I was allowed to take mine out and change them whenever I wanted to, even though I had explained umpteen times to her that I’d had mine pierced for over thirty years.  She was so hysterical that I thought for sure we were taking out the daisies and calling it a day.  God only knows what goes on in the mind of a six year old female, though, cause she all of a sudden calmed down, and I haven’t heard a thing about it since.

     I sent her off to school today with another high pony in case anyone happened to miss her new addition yesterday.  I’m praying that she comes home this afternoon still in love with her piercings, but I’ve given up on trying to predict her unpredictable moods.  I do know that I absolutely draw the line at ears though.  There will be absolutely no belly button piercing, lip piercing or nipple piercing going on while she’s living under my roof.  Oh, snap, have I turned into my parents?

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16 Responses

  1. I had mine done when I was 5, too, but they weren’t genius enough to do both at once. They did one, and I screamed SO loud, that people in the mall came running to the store to see who had been shot LOL. Then I refused to let them do the other one, it took my Mom forever to talk me into it. I was perfectly happy to sport the pirate one eared look!

  2. I got my ears pierced at the Piecing Pagoda, which is in our mall. I beleive Plumb Gold does it too. When my daughter was 9 mo. old we got her ears pierced at the Pagoda. I also agree that Claire’s is the most miserable little store on the planet. I got my daughter’s ears done so early, because I got mine done for my 5th Birthday, and I had been begging my mother for years at that point. My daughter has the same personality that I do, so I just got it overwith before she could remember. I am also a bit different than you are, I have several piercings and such. I guess that is because I’m from a much younger parent group. I hope all goes well with her earrings though, and you have no furthur meltdowns (for your sanity’s sake).

    • I have no problem with piercings for ADULTS — just not gonna deal with the aftermath while I’m in charge of her. Things always seem to come back and bite me in the ass. So, if she decides to do that when she’s out on her own, so be it. 🙂

  3. LOL I don’t blame you, I got my navel pierced when I was 16 and I have had guaged ears and all that jazz since about the same age. My parents were getting divorced, and my mom had custody of me. I asked her at a time when she was particularly mad at my father, and that is how it all started for me lol.

  4. I’m sorry you caved and had them done with guns. Gunned piercings are not safe at any age; the jewelry is poor quality and not designed for healing, putting pressure on the ear and not allowing for air circulation or easy cleaning. And after that blunt force trauma, they’re advising you to turn them and putting crap “ear care solution” on them, no doubt.

    Since they are done, there’s not much you can do except for improving the care routine to prevent further trauma and infection. DO NOT turn the jewelry! There’s no need, and it will damage the delicate new cells forming. Throw away the ear care solution crap, and clean with warm salt water soaks or compresses. Make sure your daughter washes her hands frequently (as an awesome mama I’m sure you already to this) and that she is NOT TO TOUCH HER EARS! Very difficult, I know, for a kid, which is one of the arguments for waiting.

    • Thanks for all the info! I wondered about the whole turning thing too. Plus, those chicks that work at Claire’s are by no means experts. I’ll try the warm salt water thing. What are your thoughts on just cleaning them w/rubbing alcohol?

      • NO NO NO, never rubbing alcohol or peroxide. That is the worst thing to do. If you don’t feel like making salt water, they make a salt water solutiont that you can buy for body piercings. It is called H2Ocean. I had a friend who went to a parlour to get her navel pierced (by an unexperienced person) and he told her to use alcohol on it. She ended up going to the emergency room because of complications.

      • Ugh! That sucks! Definitely no rubbing alcohol then. Thanks for the tip.

  5. I wanted my ears pierced when I was about 13, I think. My mom absolutely forbade it. Although for some reason, bleached hair, black eye makeup and smoking was fine. Anyhow, never one to take no for an answer (to this day) I pierce my own with the aid of an ice cube and a needed I sterilized over the flame of a Bic lighter. Yes, they were uneven. Yes, they got infected. And yes, I got my ass kicked.

  6. No, alcohol, Bactine, ear care solution or anything like that! A good wash with mild, diluted soap and water and clean hands, if you don’t want to do the warm salt water soaks. If you want to try salt water soaks, use 1/8 teaspoon to 8 oz of water. The best salt to use is non-iodized sea salt (which can be hard to find, though). Be sure to dry thoroughly. Good luck!

  7. I was considering getting my 3 yo DD’s ears pierced. She has REALLY short hair and I’m sick of ppl asking how old my SON is. She’s wearing a dress for gods sake! I forgot about the cleaning and turning thing. Hmmm. Not sure I need that grief. Perhaps we should conquer potty training first! 🙂

  8. Getting the ears done at the same time is CRUCIAL and genius.

    I still remember how excited I was when I got mine pierced. Your description of her was so sweet and spot-on.

  9. oh, that store makes me have a hot flash and i am not even old enough to be having those. way too much clutter in there. i had to go in last weekend to get a gift card and remembered that it also smells really bad.

    as for the ear piercings, i was one of those mean moms who took her kids at 3 months old so they could cry so hard it made me cry. but, they survived, and are doing just fine and will never remember that pain.

  10. wished I had had these tips. Got both daughters done 3 years ago at Claire’s. Followed their rules, used their stupid solution & neither daughter’s piercing would heal!!! I stopped the torture & let them grow over & told them they could try again (with their own money) when they were older!

    • I hope & pray that my daughter’s ears don’t get infected cause her dad & g-ma have been responsible for cleaning them while I’m recuperating from surgery.

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