Our guest columnist Stacia shared this tale of a birthday trip to Claire's gone terribly wrong.
My baby girl turned 4 in May. My husband and I always take her birthday off from work and spend the day doing whatever she wants (within reason). This year she wanted to go to Dunkin’ Donuts and go see a movie at the movie theater. Done and done!
Since both of those things don’t take up a whole day we filled the rest running errands and lingering far too long in the toy aisle at Target. We had to stop and get some lunch in Geneva Commons and we drove past Claire’s. Ava has been asking to get holes in her ears like mommy forever and a month now. I don’t have a problem with her getting her ears pierced, I have a problem with her being a psycho about the pain.
Ava doesn’t DO pain or even the thought of pain. An imaginary scratch deserves a band-aid.
Still, because I like to punch myself in the face, I asked Ava if she wanted to get her ears pierced that day. She said SURE! I thought, OK then, let’s do this thang!
Thankfully, school wasn’t out yet, and we had the place to ourselves but that also meant there was only one person working ... which meant one ear at a time. Oh goodie! But we were there, and Ava wanted her ears pierced.
As I was filling out the don’t-sue-us-it-ain’t-our-fault paperwork, another mom came in with her little girl. She was also 4 and had gotten her ears pierced the day before. One earring fell out when she was wrestling (mental note, don’t let Ava wrestle) and they didn’t put it back in right away. The hole closed up, and she had to be repierced. Right in front of Ava. Preschoolers usually can’t man up when it comes to pain. The little girl cried.
This would be the point where I see the panic flash across Ava’s face. Crap. CRAP!!! LOOK AWAY CHILD! LOOK AWAY! No matter, she heard the girl cry for a nanosecond and that was enough for Ava to be done with this ear piercing business. Ugh.
We decided to walk around the store a bit and try to relax. The ear piercing lady was great and pulled out all the stops. The thing is ... my daughter might only be 4 but she’s really like 18 inside. Ain’t no fooling this girl! Until the lady told her she had a magic gun that doesn’t hurt. Well, well. Ava was all about that!
Oh the lies. Her ears were dotted and the gun was loaded ... Here. We. Go.
If you happened to hear the sound barrier bomb around noonish on May 21st, that was Ava screaming. Mom you are SUCH a liar!!!! Totally. Now let’s do the next ear.
I would say we were in the store for a good hour. Ava was all about leaving with just one piercing and I knew there was no way I was getting her back into that store before she turned 20 to get the second ear pierced. I whispered to the lady that we just had to do it as quickly as possible.
I am officially the meanest mom on the planet. I held my 4-year-old daughter, ON HER BIRTHDAY, as tight as I could, as she screamed and cried while the lady pierced the second ear. I SUCK. You don’t have to tell me. I know.
However, after less than 20 seconds of crying ... she now has as set of beautifully pierced, pink earrings. She’s super proud of them. She likes to tell people that she only cried a little bit but now has pretty earrings like mommy. Thank goodness I only have one daughter.
I should stress that had she screamed and cried like that for the first one, I would have NEVER made her get her ears pierced. No way. No how. That would just tell me she needs to be a little older, but she sat on her own for the first one and she did fine ... she just didn’t want to do the second one.
The fear of a preschooler is huge, and I totally get that. I tried everything to help her not be so afraid. She held and clicked the gun. She’s taken my earrings in and out of my ear to see that once they heal they don’t hurt, etc. She just had to experience it to know.
Now that she has, she’s told me she wants her nose pierced. She also wants gold, shiny teeth. I told her that’s called a grill. Ava said, “Yeah, I want a grill.” I told her maybe Santa will bring her one.
Go West Readers: Are you daughter's ears pierced? At what age did she have it done? How did she react? Did the age at which you had your own ears pierced influence when you decided it would be OK for your daughter?