On Wednesday morning after swim practice, Sarah Kate proudly announced that she wants to have her ears pierced. She had discussed it with Neighbor Girl H and they had devised a plan whereby the two of them would head to Claire’s following Neighbor Girl H’s birthday party on Friday night.
Never mind that they are rising third graders without cars or licenses.
My first instinct was “No way!” My mom didn’t let me get pierced ears until I was much older – thirteen, I think – so it never occurred to me that this day was upon me. However, knowing that I am an old fuddy-duddy who was raised by a woman who is always well-accessorized yet has never allowed her own ears to be pierced (Note: I intend to instruct the mortician to pierce those suckers before we lay her to eternal rest), I decided that I should not make sweeping pronouncements. Therefore, we called Mr. Andi to ask his opinion about the possibility of pierced ears.
Mr. Andi, like any father who has never had anything pierced and thus has no idea about the required six-week course of thrice-daily peroxide dousing and post earring rotating, assured his eager daughter with the desire to accessorize her body that he had no problem at all with letting her get her ears pierced, so long as she understood that he would select her earrings. Despite the fact that he then descended into talk of dangles made of raccoon toes, she hung up the phone smiling and happy that her request was going to be granted.
Clearly, I did not think this plan through.
Not wanting to be The Bad Guy, I reluctantly agreed to the procedure and began devising a way to sabotage her plan. After dinner, I navigated to the Claire’s website and had Sarah Kate watch the after care video, complete with images of red, swollen, infected ears (I carefully avoided the page with photos of starter earring sets because I knew that if she spotted Hello Kitty it’d be Game Over). I asked her if she was aware of what the piercing would be like, and then proceeded to exploit her naiveté by describing it using words like “gun” and “needle.” I relayed the tale of my friend’s daughter (who happened to be eight years old at the time – bonus!) who freaked out about the pain after the first ear and refused to have the second one done. By this point, Mr. Andi had picked up on my devious scheme and declared that it would be “like getting Botox in your ears.”
Victory was so close, I could taste it.
Sarah Kate headed off to get ready for bed and I went to the computer to work on a (very different from this one) blog post. After a few minutes, I heard what sounded like sniffling and she reappeared in the living room. Initially, she was reluctant to tell me what was wrong, but eventually she confessed that she wanted her ears pierced but she was afraid. Very, very afraid. Seeing her pained expression, my stubborn mom heart melted. The Botox line had sealed the deal, but it had also put fear in her heart.
I had overplayed my hand.
This morning, she asked me again how much it hurts to have your ears pierced. I reassured her that it wouldn’t be as bad as Botox – more like a shot – and she breathed a sigh of relief.
Next time you hear from me, I’ll probably be posting a photo of the Hello Kitty earrings.
Girl 1, Mom 0.