Jay and I have been debating when Lydia should get her ears pierced for quite sometime now. I’m ready to let her get them done, but for some reason Jay has been a bit hesitant. I guess this is the start of all the age old questions of when girls can do this or that, such as shaving their legs, wearing make-up and Heaven forbid — dating.
I was around the age of 2-3 when I had my ears pierced. I actually appreciate my mom getting it done early so I wouldn’t be scared to make the decision on my own. Who knows, I may not even have my ears pierced today if she didn’t. And I laugh at the reactions of others about this miniscule, yet exciting event.
Some people think that getting a child’s ears pierced makes a young girl think that nothing is more important than being pretty. Lydia knows that mommy, daddy and big brother Brayden all think she is beautiful. We let her know quite often. But we also let her know quite often that she is loved. I hope as a parent my children know they are loved and appreciated always. Not only just when they get a good grade, or hit a home run, or look pretty, but always. I hope they both grow up with confidence in themselves. And pierced ears shouldn’t be a factor in that, but how we parent them will.
I want to get her ears pierced because she will love it. When she sits on my lap she points at my earrings and talks about them in her very cute ramblings. Then she proceeds to get out her clip-on princess earrings from her dress-up box. So I always ask her if she wants to get her ears pierced and she replies with a “Yeah.” So I tell her to ask Daddy please. “Daa eee, pease!” He’s since rubbed up to the idea of letting her get them done for her second birthday. Which is only about 3 1/2 months from now. That is a scary thought in and of itself. I can’t believe our little baby is almost two.
So I see this as being the forefront to all the other “when can she” questions. My guess is that Jay and I will disagree a bit. But it only makes sense to let the mom make those girl decisions. Jay has already decided to make boy decisions for Brayden. He has officially changed the name of Brayden’s private area for him (which I completely disagree with.) But he argues that he is the one who understands a boy, not me. (And don’t ask me what daddy told him, you can ask Jay!)
I think my mom did pretty well with the other “when can she” questions. I shaved my legs in 6th grade. That was the first year we had to change and take showers in P.E. class and she thought that was a good time to start letting me take on that responsbility. I will encourage Lydia to wait as long as she can. Because shaving your legs isn’t fun…it’s a chore!
I was able to start wearing a little bit of blush and lip gloss in 6th grade as well. And that was sufficient for me up until around high school when I incorporated a little mascara. The foundation and cover up stick were added to the line-up in early college when my face decided to take a turn for the worse. Mounting up with a million zits! And the eye shadow wasn’t worn on my lids until a couple of years ago. The less make-up the better is my mantra!
And dating…well I don’t really remember an official start. But I think it was my freshmen year of high school that I remember going on a double date to the movies. I think my sophomore year of high school I was able to go out with a boy just the two of us. I’m not sure if my dad had a say so in this. Or if he did, I didn’t know about it. I think this one just came up when I asked if it was okay. Luckily, I was a good kid that didn’t get into trouble so I think my parents trusted me.
And there were quite a few dates, but not many “boyfriends.” I had way to much going on to have a boyfriend take away any of my free time. Boys just seemed to get in the way, much like they do now! I went to Ikea with my best friend, Beth a couple of weekends ago and we had a blast! I’m sure there would be many more spontaneous Ikea runs if our husbands weren’t involved in our planning.
Hopefully soon Lydia will get her first experience of one of the important days in a girl’s life – the day she gets her ears pierced. And maybe she can bring her Aunt Sarah along to get her ears pierced too…or Great Grandma!
I’m not totally opposed to young girls getting their ears pierced. But a lot of women seem to think it’s cute when babies have pierced ears. I just think the look is just a little too “Toddlers and Tiaras” for my taste.
But once a girl has enough hair so that the piercings don’t stick out like a sore lobe, I’m fine with it. Since Lydia has lots of hair, the only question becomes, “What’s the rush?”
The answer outlines a serious difference in opinion between Shayla and me. I happen to think there’s no rush. Lydia isn’t asking for her ears to be pierced. She’s 20 months old. What’s the difference between piercing at 20 months, 24 months, or three years? I sure can’t tell.
Shayla and I have the same discussion around holidays and birthdays. If Shayla sees a cool book or toy or outfit for the kids on December 5, she’s going to buy it and give it to them. Then a week before Christmas we look around a crowded store and ask, “What are we going to get the kids with this last $25?” A week after Christmas, we look around a crowded house and ask, “How do our kids have so much stuff?” That’s not how I was raised. If you’re less than 90 days out from a major gift-getting occasion, don’t expect to get anything.
That rule applies to ear piercing, because it’d be a good gift that doesn’t take up space and is, as Shayla says, a seminal moment in a young girl’s life. And, to me, nothing says “Happy birthday” like getting shot twice in the head with a needle gun. That said, we’re more than 90 days out from her birthday, so technically that rule doesn’t apply. That brings me to my next point:
I’ve never heard a parent say, “You know, my kids didn’t grow up fast enough.” It’s exactly the opposite. We cry when they go off to preschool, but we push them into body art?
Brayden was old enough to play basketball last fall, and he wanted to do it. Basketball! At the age of 5! But at the end of the day, we decided that we’ll have more than a decade of sports ahead. No need to rush. Our kids will have asked for a cell phone by the time they turn 10, but I don’t see the need. Get them one when they’ll actually use it for good — when they need to be picked up from sports practice or when they are learning to drive (in case of emergencies).
My point is, kids will ask for things. They will ask for them earlier than they should have them. We as parents have a job to be reasonable about it.
I don’t want the final say on the girly decisions. Mom and daughter can decide when a girl shaves her legs. I just want to make sure she doesn’t use my razor. They can decide when she wears make-up. As long as she doesn’t look like Lil Kim. And dating…well, I’ll just need five days’ notice to satisfy the gun purchase waiting period.
But when it comes to getting ears pierced, if we don’t have the patience to wait at least until the next birthday rolls around, we probably won’t have the patience for much else, either.
And She Said Again:
Ba ba ba ba ba. That’s all I heard. Jay doesn’t know what he is talking about a lot of the time!
I don’t go around buying lots of stuff before holidays. I don’t think a new pair of jeans my child desperately needs and can’t wait for another two months without looking like he is wading a river constitutes giving them something too close to a Holiday. Or let’s say a Christmas coloring book I give to the kids in early December. If I waited to give them this holiday coloring book on Christmas it would not be used until next Christmas rolled around. I just keep things in perspective.
And as Jay said, this issue doesn’t even fall in the “90 days until” category. She is more than 90 days out. And she does want them done. Of course, she doesn’t quite understand that they will be poking her but she does want to wear earrings in her ears like mommy. This is a good time too. She will get them pierced, bother with them that day since they are still new and then forget they are there, hopefully then not getting an infection. Getting a babies ears pierced is actually pretty smart. They don’t touch them at all. I wasn’t ready to pierce her ears as a baby, but now as a toddler I am.
And I’m sure if Daddy hears anymore, “Daa eee, pease” he will be caving real soon!