On Christmas Eve, my mom (Atia’s Nana) announced that the earring holes in her ears had closed up, making it impossible to wear earrings. She decided that she needed to get them re-pierced, and that opened the door…
My daughter, Atia, is 5 years old and she’s a complete girly girl; she enjoys wearing fake stick-on earrings, and looks so darn cute in them. Her 10 year old cousin, whom she adores, has her ears pierced, and Atia’s admired them for years. It was only a matter of time until Atia started asking for hers to be pierced, too.
When Nana expressed her plan to get her ears pierced again, Atia jumped on that bandwagon and started hinting, asking and then begging to get hers done, too.
Honestly, my thought on the subject is that if she wants earrings, then I didn’t see a problem with it. I have a tendency to be spontaneous and to indulge Atia’s whims if they don’t seem too crazy. Combine that with the fact that it’s the Christmas Season, which I love and puts me in a truly great and giving mood, and that Steve was agreeable to the idea, too, and you’ve got a perfect trifecta.
My instinct was to say YES!
However, before disclosing our final answer I turned to my tried and true litmus test: FACEBOOK. I posted the status below to see if there were things we possibly hadn’t considered, which should legitimately change our minds.
Thinking about getting Atia's ears pierced in the next few days. She is such a girly girl; she really likes wearing fake earrings. Any thoughts on the subject? Do your kids have theirs pierced? How old were they?
As I’d hoped, my friends spoke up expressing their yea or nay votes. Most folks approved or supported Atia’s desire. I was actually quite surprised to learn how many of them had their children’s ears pierced so young. The ages ranged from newborn to 10 years old. In some cases, their pediatricians actually did it, and in others they pierced their child’s ears on their own. I learned that the Polish and Filipino traditions are to pierce their children’s ears at birth, before leaving the hospital, whereas the Mexican tradition is to do it within the first year of life.
It was a fascinating social study and culture lesson.
However, several voiced their concern about the topic. Those who opposed cited a very valid reason for their opposition: a child’s lack of maturity and responsibility to clean and care for their piercings themselves, and the resulting infections and complications that could cause.
I’d already considered that aspect, and had submitted to the fact that by allowing Atia to get her ears pierced, I was adding an additional task to my list of morning and evening responsibilities: help the kids get dressed/undressed, help the kids brush their teeth, help the kids wash their faces, clean Atia’s ear piercings.
In the end, it came down to one thing, something the very first comment my status elicited: Only you and Atia know if she is ready.
And, we knew she was ready…
So we explained to her what the process would entail - using piercing guns to shoot earrings through her ears – and that it will probably hurt. Interestingly, after everything she’s been through, she had no fear of it, and was actually quite excited about the experience – or rather, the end result.
It turns out, I was more fearful of the pain than she was. Without hesitation, I knew exactly what to do to make it less painful for her. As the parent of a cancer kid, I’d long since perfected my strategy for proactively minimizing pain, if I could. And I had a secret weapon, something commonly used during cancer treatment. A topical ointment that numbed the injection site: EMLA!
Interestingly, even a year post cancer treatment, I still carry emla everywhere I go, just in case. I never know when I might need to utilize that magic cream… like in this case! So, I lubed up her earlobes – front and back – and we were on our way.
Atia sat very patiently as I completed the necessary paperwork, and while doing so, she drew quite a crowd. There was another little girl who was 7 years old, and wanted to get hers done too, but wanted to see what it was like first. Her mom asked if it was okay that they watch. The thing was, the stool Atia sat atop was practically outside the store, making it a bit of a spectacle as it was.
So, I said, “Sure! But, just so you know, it might not be a fair assessment because the cream on her ears is actually a numbing ointment, so if all goes well then she won’t feel much, if anything.” That piqued the mom’s interest prompting me to explain what Elma cream was and how it worked, followed up by offering her daughter some if she decided to go through with it.
Then it was time for Atia to get them done… She was so brave and sat there complete still, anxious for it all to be over.
It just took a second, and… CLICK! It was all over. Both ears were pierced. She didn’t cry, she didn’t wince, she didn’t even jump. As expected, she didn’t feel a thing. The miracle cream had worked perfectly! She excitedly admired her new piercings sporting cute little Hello Kitty earrings.
Everyone told her how brave she’d been and complimented her new adornments.
The 7 year old girl and her mom were really impressed by the whole thing and quickly decided that they would really like to use the emla cream, too.
Up next was my mom, the catalyst. She was so brave; she got hers done WITHOUT using the numbing ointment.
All in all, I’d have to say, it was a really great experience - something fun for my mom and Atia to do together, something that didn’t cause much pain at all, and something that added to the great Christmas 2012 memories.
I’d definitely do it again, and so far the cleaning has gone well. We’ll see how well we do during the requisite six week period.