Pierced Ears

August 18, 2009

Last year, while some friends were visiting from out of town, my daughter and I tagged along while my friend’s daughter got her ears pierced. I pierced mine to show her that it wasn’t all that painful. I wrote about the experience and didn’t think much more about it.

Occasionally when my daughter and I were visiting the mall we would come by a Claire’s Boutique, the place where my friend’s daughter got her ears pierced, I’d jokingly ask my daughter if she wanted to get her ears pierced knowing I would be faced with screaming and ear holding. My daughter thought the idea of putting holes in one’s head was barbaric and wanted nothing to do with it. We were not even allowed to discuss it.

My daughter is 6 and I figured if I continued to ask her if she wanted her ears pierced she might never want to get her ears pierced, especially since she had such a hard time losing a tooth. I assumed I would never have to share earrings with her nor would she need money to buy earrings when she became a teen. Suggesting to my 16 year old son that he get his ear pierced has kept him hole free so the plan had been working.

Until the most recent tooth fell out. After the tooth was pulled out rather painlessly by my daughter she decided that she didn’t need to be nor was it beneficial to her to be such a wimp. One after noon, while watching an episode of iCarly, my daughter turned to me and said she wanted to get her ears pierced.

“Really?” I asked, stunned.

“Yes” she replied.

“Really, really” still stunned.

“Yes, I am ready to do it” she said.

It being a rainy Friday afternoon with nothing better to do I agreed to take her out to the mall to get her ears pierced.

Her dad was going to be picking her up the next day to take her to a picnic and I must have been extremely bored since I was looking forward to the drama that would ensue when he saw her ears.

We arrived at the mall, found one of the many Claire’s and watched while a five year old girl got her ears pierced. She didn’t flinch during the process and I figured this might go off pretty easily.

Daughter seats herself in the chair, she has picked out the earrings and the ear piercer/manager is cleaning her ears and marking them with dots so she knows where to pierce them. She actually gets about six inches away from her my daughter’s ears with the little ear piercing machine before my daughter starts to scream and hold her ears.

Daughter says she is really not ready, she thought she was but isn’t fully prepared. The manager takes off her gloves and returns to the counter to ring up a few customers who had been waiting patiently since they only have one person staffed at this particular Claire’s. Daughter hops down off the chair but sees all the cute earrings and announces that NOW she is ready. She hops back up into the chair while I tell the manager that we are ready to try again.

We repeat the previous scenario three times. We leave the malls without holes in her ears. The manager of the shop was gracious and kind about the whole thing even though she had to suit up three times and she never got a sale for her troubles. She was a trooper and said to come back in a few years when daughter was ready.

We arrived home and that was the end of it.

When daughter returned from the picnic with her father he said:

“If you get her ears pierced make sure they use gold since she probably has sensitive ears like mine”

Her father has a pierced ear and believes he has sensitive ears. In reality he has a mother who has told him he is either sensitive or allergic to everything. The man crawls around in attics and basements all day long breathing in questionable chemicals and materials. The only thing I have ever seen his skin react to is poison ivy. It’s all in his head and I’ll be damned if it ends up in his daughter’s.

And there was no drama. He could care less if I put two holes in her head. Too bad it didn’t work.

Five minutes after he dropped her off she announces that she is really, really, really ready to get her ears pierced.

Fine, I still have no life and it’s still raining. I take her to the mall, a different one this time however and we find a Claire’s. I was not going to subject that poor manager to another visit from me and my daughter.

At the new Claire’s, in a different mall, I mentioned to the manager that we had tried this before with no luck. She nodded and winked at me which I thought was a little odd but then she got down to business. She asked which earrings my daughter wanted and then showed my daughter to another part of the store while she readied the equipment. She then called my daughter over who was expecting to go through the whole process of gloves, cleaning, marking, worrying, quitting, rinse and repeat. This manager didn’t bother marking or panicking and had done the cleaning without my daughter noticing. Before my daughter had a chance to back out her right ear was pierced.

And she didn’t cry.

The left ear was pierced without incidence or tears as well. It was amazing.

I tried to tip this woman but she would have none of it. I did buy my daughter a couple of pairs of earrings which she could wear in about six weeks provided she doesn’t have some reaction to the surgical steal posts that were forced through her ear lobes.

This was a couple of weeks ago. We have cleaned them twice a day and there has been no complaints, swelling, redness or any kind of irritation. She obviously does not have her father’s “sensitivities”. Though it probably didn’t hurt that she had been taking antibiotics for the prior week due to piercing her mouth with a straw.

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  • Reply BONNIE K August 18, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    I'm glad you found a manager who knew how to deal with kids. This ought to be a fun time for your daughter – buying new earrings, borrowing from her mom, probably losing earrings…but it's all part of growing up.

  • Reply Lin August 18, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Those women at Claire's are freaking SAINTS! My daughter did the same thing numerous times and they never, ever sighed a deep sigh, roll their eyes, or make a snide comment or nasty face. They must have to do this like a billion times a day. If it were me, I'd murder those children. And that would by why I don't work at Claire's. 🙂

  • Reply Dr. Lauren August 18, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    That's where I got my pierced years ago. They were always so nice about it.

  • Reply Humor August 18, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I drop Ec and put u link in my blogroll please check it and put my link too.thks

  • Reply Pricilla August 18, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    I drop ec too…heh heh

    I got my ears pierced in the days when the doctor did it with a syringe.

    I am glad your daughter was really, really ready. She will enjoy having pretty earrings. And it gives her future boyfriends easy presents to buy…

  • Reply Stacie's Madness August 18, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    i love this story…glad it without a glitch (second time around anyway)

  • Reply The Mother August 19, 2009 at 9:04 am

    I have four sons, and for three of them, the offer to get their ears pierced every time we walked through a mall worked like a charm.

    My third now has four extra holes in his head, and is begging for a lip piercing. Oh, well.

    On the "sensitive ears" thing–nickel allergies are common, very common, actually, and even surgical steel posts have nickel unless specifically labeled "nickel free." Nickel allergies are hereditary (not that I'm defending your nutty ex in any way).

    If your daughter's ears don't heal properly, and the holes are still weeping at six weeks, that's something to keep in mind. My ears are like that, and my holey son has been through it, too.

    Skip the surgical steel and go sterling silver, which by definition is 99% pure, or gold, which isn't cut with nickel. Avoid the white gold, because they generally use nickel to make it white. There are some companies making nickel free steel posts, which are cheap–Simply Whispers is my favorite.

  • Reply Jen August 19, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Bonnie, They were both wonderful I just didn't want to ruin the other managers day by showing up twice in a row. Daughter picked out earrings that are dogs, something I am not likely to wear so for now I don't think we will be sharing too much. But it does make gift giving easier.

    Lin, they are indeed saints. Wouldn't it be nice if all customer service people were like these women?

    Dr. Lauren, I recommend them highly and they do a great job of explaining how to take care of their ears after the piercing.

    Humor, I don't drop ec much but I did take a look at your site. If your English made a little more sense I would be happy to trade links with you, I did get a kick out of it however.

    Pricilla, My dad pierced my ears the first time, using the syringe method. After that I pierced them in the locker room at school. I pierced my friends ears and she pierced mine. I think we used snow and a potato.

    Stacie, It went much better than I thought it would. I really thought we would walk away with only one ear pierced so I couldn't be happier.

    Mother, my son wants to pierce his cheek and the middle of his forehead. I'd rather he get a tattoo than look like such an idiot. Luckily he needs my permission to get a piercing and it isn't likely that a friend will be willing to pierce his forehead for him.

    So far my daughter's ears have shown no irritation. They look wonderful and there has been no swelling or redness.

    My exes ears may have issues with nickel but I doubt it. I bought him a beautiful diamond earring made of gold, at least 14k, he complained of that one and luckily for me I have it now. His mother has done a number on him but I suspect she didn't like the earring and thought that might be a way to get rid of it.

  • Reply judemiller1 August 19, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I remember going though this with my then 6 year old–however, I WAS THE ONE doing the changing of mind–my 6 year old, just jumped up on the stool and got it done. It took me years and many more times of getting right there and running away before I finally got it done–my then 10 year old went with me to hold my hand!! Good job.

  • Reply moooooog35 August 20, 2009 at 7:56 am

    ..if only my Prince Albert had gone this well…

    Go ahead..Google it…I'll wait.

  • Reply La'Tonya Richardson August 20, 2009 at 8:54 am

    My girls were pierced as babies. If my middle daughter was to do it now, she'd be walking around with one ear ring. And she LOVES ear rings!

  • Reply Sherri August 21, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Good for your daughter, she fought her fear and had her ears pierced! My daughter had no problem at all the piercing (she was five or six), but she freaked out when we tried to change them!

    After her six weeks were up, she couldn't wait to try a new pair of earrings. When I took the original ones out, she had some skin that had become attached to the backing. She screamed when I took it out and would not let me go near her ears! I tried everything to get her to let me put in earrings (I even tried while she was sleeping) but she wouldn't let me. The holes grew shut and she didn't get them pierced again until she was 10!

  • Reply Grandy August 21, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    YAYAYAYAY!! I didn't get mine pierced until I was 12. I was SO ready. I had them double pierced at 19, but then they closed up when I was hospitalized and had emergency surgery. This year…for my birthday…on the 25th anniversary of the original piercing (you do the math) I got them RE-double-pierced. YAYAYAY!! Ear rings (mind you just on the ears) are so fun!! Good job for being so patient Mom. 🙂

  • Reply Bring Back Pluto August 24, 2009 at 4:19 am

    It's funny how we try to steer our kids one way or another and eventually they just decide for themselves. Good for your daughter.
    And for you for being a supportive mom! And for taking her twice!!!
    I enjoyed your site. Your writing flows and is so easy to read. Thanks.
    Your friend,
    Bring Back Pluto
    "ONE of THE GUYS"

  • Reply The Mother August 26, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    I agree–anyone who complains about 14K doesn't have nickel sensitivity as his major complaint.

    My Goth now wants to get his lip pierced. I told him he can do it on his 18th birthday, when it is essentially over my dead body. Ears are one thing. Lips look stupid.

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