Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Little Ladies with Pierced Ears

I hadn't planned on getting the twins' ears pierced until they were at least six or seven years old, mainly because that's when I got my ears pierced and I wanted them to remember the experience. Many of us don't think about it much, but ear piercing is a huge rite of passage for little girls. So much so, that the girls had to beg their dad to even let them get pierced. They're only three and a half years old, and surprisingly, they are the only girls in their nursery class who don't have pierced ears, and hence, don't wear earrings. The first couple times they asked me to get it done for them, my husband vetoed the idea, saying once they get their ears pierced, all of the rest of the things that make dads get premature heart attacks are going to follow. He was like, "What's next, makeup? School dances? Why can't we let them be babies for just a little longer?" I could see his point, but in all reality, makeup and school dances are a topic at least 12 years away and aren't the same thing as pierced ears. (As much as I love to play with makeup myself, I'm not going to allow my girls to wear it until they're 15, that's the magic acceptable number I have in my head, and I'm sticking to it.)

Anyway, back to the ear piercing thing. This issue became such a huge deal in our house that we finally started asking some of our friends at what age they got, or allowed, their daughters to get their ears pierced. Can you believe a good majority of them said 6 months? Some as early as 3 months. And yes, we didn't notice it before, but we found that out of our entire circle of friends, our girls were the only ones who didn't have pierced ears! I figured, the baby girls who got their ears pierced at 6 months probably didn't have much say in the matter, but if my girls are asking me for pierced ears themselves, and this is something they really want, why not? It's gotta be done sometime anyway, so why not now?

So off we went to the mall, to our neighborhood Piercing Pagoda, where a team of two technicians made the twins' very first ear piercing the most pleasurable and memorable experience. My husband didn't want to see it happen and hung out at Best Buy instead, so it was just me, the twins, and my son Riz, who was curious and wanted to watch. I propped each girl up to the counter and let her pick out her own earrings. Honeybear chose simple princess cut CZ studs, while Zee chose earrings that looked like little flowers (white zircon middle surrounded by pink zircon "petals"). Great picks for both of them.

I let Honeybear go first, because I know she has a higher tolerance for pain and doesn't cry as easily as Zee. I sat her down on my lap, while the technician used a magic marker to make holes for where the earrings would be punched in. Then I told Honeybear that if she looks straight ahead, a magic bunny is going to pop out from behind the kiosk in front of us, just some random story to distract her from what was about to happen. Then the technicians counted together, "One, two, three" and viola!, they pressed down on their piercing guns and both ears were pierced. Since both ears were pierced at the same time, Honeybear didn't even have time to process the pain, and the next thing you know, the technicians were showing her a mirror and telling her "Look how pretty you look!" and she was just smiling, admiring her new earrings. Cut to Zee, who was standing in front watching the whole thing and was jumping up and down, "Me too! Me too!" The techs did Zee's ears the same way, quickly and efficiently, and I was very surprised that the girls didn't cry one bit. They said it pinched a little, but it didn't hurt after that. Then the techs gave them both lollipops.

It's been a few days since they got their ears done, but they're doing great, and are starting to notice the earrings on other little girls their age more. Whenever they see another little toddler with earrings, they point it out to me and say, "Look, that girl has earrings" followed by "just like me." The husband also seems to be adjusting to the fact that the girls now wear earrings. Like I said, he wasn't too keen on the idea in the beginning, but seeing how happy they are now, he's getting used to it.

In hindsight, I'm actually glad I got it over with. I remember even though my ears were done with a piercing gun, they were done one at a time. So after the first ear was pierced, I realized this kind of hurts!, and got nervous anticipating the pain of the next ear piercing. I would have preferred a simultaneous piercing the like the twins got done. Still, it was better than the way my mom got pierced in Pakistan way back when. She said, back then, there was no Claire's or Piercing Pagoda you went to to get your ears pierced, there were people who used to just walk the streets yelling "Get your ears pierced! I pierce ears! Only X rupees!" You called them into your house, and the guy would just ice the earlobes before shoving a gold earring right through it! One earlobe at a time. Manually. And yes, unlike with a piercing gun, when the earring is shoved right through the earlobe manually, it bleeds like bloody hell. Ouch, can you imagine? I'm so thankful for technological advancement.