She climbed up into that tall chair that sits in the window. The one that allows all the passers by to watch while they are, well, passing by. She looked excited and perhaps a wee bit nervous. I confess that I was nervous as well. "You're in the hot seat now!" I told her. She picked out a shiny blue pair. Blue has become her favorite color recently. She waited patiently for the associate to come back and seal the deal. It was a busy place to be today, a few days after Christmas with all the area schools out. Kids and teens of all ages ran rampant outside the window from where Dear Daughter was perched in her tall chair.
The associate came back and made sure I had signed all the waivers agreeing to indemnify them of every possible thing that could go wrong with what they were about to do to my daughter. Then the associate loaded her gun with the shiny blue pair Dear Daughter had picked out. My heart beat a bit faster, and I turned my head. I couldn't watch. I just wanted it to be over. I heard a loud exclamation of "Ouch!" I peeked back over my shoulder to assess the damage. My little girl still sat on that tall chair. Her chin was quivering just the littlest bit and she fought back a tear. I resisted the urge to pull her out of the chair and hold her close and insist she forget all about this nonsense and call it quits. But she had told me before that this is what she wanted and that she could handle it. I told her I was proud of her and grabbed her hand as the associate loaded her gun again. "It's almost over!" I reassured Daughter. She caught her breath and looked apprehensive like she wasn't so sure anymore that this is what she wanted. Then it was over. Daughter looked sober for a few moments. I tried to lighten things up for her with exclamations of how proud of her I was and how brave and beautiful she was. She smiled, weakly at first. And then she beamed the rest of the day.
My six year old baby now has pierced ears.
My baby who is so brave at the dentist's office. They told me they look forward to her visits because she is so sweet and good mannered. She doesn't cry or protest when they do their dentist stuff in her mouth. Not even when she had to have those two teeth pulled. My baby who told me nonchalantly in her smiling sing-songy voice that day about what it felt like to have teeth pulled, and the bloody gauze hung out of her mouth as she talked. It "tugged" and felt "crunchy" she told me as I cringed and felt a little woozy myself.
I asked her tonight if getting her ears pierced hurt worse than having teeth pulled. "Oh yes!" she exclaimed without hesitating. I asked her if she had to choose one or the other, would she rather have her ears pierced again or have teeth pulled. "Oh, have teeth pulled!" she said again without hesitating.
The whole ear piercing ordeal struck me as a bit barbaric--forcing an earring until it punches through the entire earlobe. What a strange custom. Thank God our culture doesn't encourage females to wear those coils around our necks to stretch them out. No, at least in our culture we are only fixated on punching holes in our bodies.
Dear Husband pointed out that at least we can probably rest easy that Dear Daughter won't be wanting to pierce anything else on her body. If she even so much as hints at piercing something else on her body someday when she turns into a teenager, I'll be reminding her of how much this ear piercing thing hurt. I'll point out that it was so excruciatingly painful that she would rather have teeth pulled than go through it again. Surely that will work.
I alternated today between thoughts of "Thank God she's only six!" and "Oh My God! She's already six!"