He Said/She Said: Pierced Ears Edition

 Parenting is all about give and take and compromise. Well, that and cleaning up vomit. So to capture the negotiation portion of our relationship, Jay and I have decided to introduce a series called “He Said/She Said”, where we will debate a certain parenting topic. Enjoy!
 
 
 

Beautiful Lydia!

 

She Said:

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!

 
 

"Pease Daa eee"

 

He Said:

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.
 

 

Putting on her earrings

 

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!

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

5 Responses to He Said/She Said: Pierced Ears Edition

  1. I first had mine pierced when I was 8. I swore I wanted them done- I had no realization that piercing would hurt and that there was ongoing maintenance and care required. Those holes ended up closing and I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 18.

    For me, I want my daughter to make an informed choice about something done esthetically to her body. My thought right now is that when she either a) turns 13 or b)gets her period (whichever comes first… or last… depending on where we are when we get there), we will celebrate that milestone with a “Day of Womanhood.” Ears pierced, lunch at the Tea Room or some other fancy place, a makeover at some make up place, dinner and a night at the theatre downtown. I want it to be part of something that is a really big deal and not just something that’s always been there.

    And it’s important to me that she be able to take of something like that completely on her own. I don’t want to have to nag about cleaning them, I don’t want to clean them myself, I don’t want to fight about earrings or whatever. I’m not a big jewelry wearer so it’s not a huge deal to me in the first place, really.

    And you know what? Your daughter DOES wear “her” earrings everytime she admires yours. She gets her plastic, sparkly bling and clamps them on and feels just as special- in fact, maybe moreso because it’s a big deal to put them on and they aren’t just something that is always there!

  2. Indiana Lori says:

    I’m with Liz. Lydia probably can’t conceive of what it means to get her ears pierced. She can only conceive of wanting to imitate her Momma. Kelly just walked downstairs wearing an old blanket, calling herself “Cinderella”. She’s thrilled with her look…kids can’t be trusted with making wardrobe decisions. But hey lady, you know my overall philosophy: to each his own. I see little girls everywhere with their ears pierced, and quite honestly, I don’t think a thing about it one way or the other. It’s each family’s decision. Jay…go ahead and get that gun. Lydia is a beauty any way you slice it.

  3. Amy Swor says:

    Shayla,

    I was searching for a GF’s blog and came across yours. Started reading and came across your post whether or not to have your dd’s ears pierced now. Hope you don’t mind me leaving a comment, but I had a similar experience wondering whether or not to dd’s ears at 2 years old or not.

    First, I don’t think your’re crazy wanting your dd’s ears pierced. Admittedly, I know a lot of people have strong feelings when to pierce a child’s ear. “Let them decide” is being replaced by parental decision when mommy intuition knows, “earlier is better” from either personal or friend’s experiences of unpleasant childhood ear piercing. I think it just depends on your own personal choice whether or not you wish your baby or little girl to have pierced ears. Some feel perceived gender of their child is important while others find it a cultural tradition where all infant girls have pierced ears.

    Second, I went back and forth too whether or not to pierce our dd’s ears as toddler. I asked our ped and she gave me some suggestions for moms having their dd’s ears pierced.She had her dd’s done at Piercing Pagoda and recommended them due to their professional training and experience with infant ear piercing. She said if they cry, it is because of being restrained or the noise of the piercing instrument near the ears, not any pain.Some say don’t have a toddler’s ears pierced, but my ped encouraged me to go ahead when mommy could care for them properly.

    Third, my mom pierced my ears when I was 2 days old as and I’ve loved it….I think earrings on little girls are adorable!However, with Sandi, I just procrastinated. If you don’t know how she’d look at any age, then hold up a pair of your studs to your daughters ear and decide for yourself. Many moms including myself like the look of earrings on babies and little girls for no specific reason, but like how light plays off a simple gold ball on a bald baby girl or small gold hoop poking through the hair of a toddler.

    Cerebrally, as mothers of girls of all ages, we know it celebrates their femaleness and femininity. After all, they are little girls, right? You dd is already got the bug with fake earrings and looks soO cute.

    Lastly, since you are thinking about it, your mommy intuition is really telling you earlier is better to pierce your dd’s ears. Listen to your heart and intuition. I’d say go ahead and have it done soon and not worry about it anymore giving your daughter the “gift of pierced ears” now. She’ll thank you later when all the other girls in preschool see her with earrings and are envious of you being such a smart mommy for doing it when you could care for them and she didn’t remember having them done.

    Did I say she’d look cute w/ little gold studs in pictures?

    Please write me an e-mail if you would like our ped’s suggestions for moms having their dd’s ears pierced.

    Amy

    Amyswor@hotmail.com

  4. […] And do you remember this debate?  Well, she did turn two, and Daddy made good on his promise. So Lydia got her ears pierced!  She was such a good girl.  I have always explained to my children what is going to happen in stressful/scary situations.  I think that is the best way for them to relax a little instead of springing things on them causing them to freak out.  I explain what is going to happen at the dentist and pediatrician. I even explain boring/uncomfortable situations to them.  “This is going to be a lot of waiting around and will probably take awhile, but I need you to behave and stay quiet and it will help us get out of here sooner.”  So ear piercing was nothing different.  I told Lydia that it is going to feel like a pinch when they pierce her ears.  I even demonstrated this to her and squeezed her ear lobes to show her what it would be like.  She knew she had to sit real still and so she did.  The aftermath was one little “ow” and about 10 seconds of crying.  As soon as she saw herself in the mirror the crying stopped and was quickly followed by her saying “pretty.” Mommy & Lydia right after the ear piercing. […]

  5. Jennifer says:

    I got my ears pierced when I was 12 years old… more or less… and I always wished my mom would have gone and gotten mine done when I was a baby. A teenager does not want to take care of her ears. Mine got infected more times than necessary because, well, teenagers are NASTY! Now, I have a few more ear pearcings than necessary, but, I got those later on and did take care of them.
    And Liz, the first time a girl gets her period, she doesn’t want to go out and celebrate. She wants to roll up in bed so nobody will see her and drink hot chocolate and watch movies. Less get her ears pierced.
    Really to be honest, I dont understand what the big deal about piercings is. When a girl gets them when shes a baby, she can grow up learning how to take care of them and personally, I feel that when somebody grows up learning how to do something, like brushing your teeth, it becomes normal every day routine.

    :]

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