To Pierce, or Not to Pierce.

Fiona’s best pal just pierced her ears. She looks darling, and now Fiona, never one to miss a beat, is demanding the same. I’ve never had the ear-piercing discussion with Francie because a) to pierce her ears she’d have to leave the house, and 2) pierced ears = change, and for Francie change = terrifying. I know that if she did want to do it, she’d make me take the earrings out seconds later, before we even leave the store.

Fiona, on the other hand, is gung ho.

But even though I’d never really thought about it, it turns out that I have somewhat strong feelings on the subject. I’d never pierced the babies ears because, ethnicity aside (sadly, we have no Latin blood), I always thought that the only baby girls with pierced ears were:

a) ugly,

b) bald, or

c) looked like boys

…. and in all cases their poor, disappointed mothers were desperate to try anything to beautify. [Those same babies also had to sport those ridiculous elasticated headbands that made their already large heads look like overripe melons. Poor wee things.]

I suppose I always thought ear-piercing was something that came along with adolescence… a rare happy moment in what will likely be a sea of emotional hell.  But a three year old? I’ve been called prudish and old-fashioned by the best of them, but I know what I’m afraid of. It all smacks of Jeanbenet Ramsey. Earrings today, Toddlers and Tiaras tomorrow. I don’t know why, but I seem to think that small gold studs are the first step on the path to pole dancing and pasties.

I’ve told her I’d think it over. I suppose at some point I should consult M. But as strong willed as Fiona I may be, I think I may be able to distract her for a few years. After all, kids have no real sense of time anyway. Still, I’m not sure I need to make sure a big deal out of this. As I was saying to a friend today, given her strong Lisbeth Salander streak (you never saw a better “piss-off” face on a three year old), we’ll be damn lucky if this is all she pierces.


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9 responses to “To Pierce, or Not to Pierce.

  1. Anonymous

    I was searching for my GF’s blog and came across reading yours. Especially enjoyed your thoughtful ideas whether or not to pierce your dd’s ears.

    Like you, I was like you, totally uncertain and thinking it would make her grow up too fast. However, I kept seeing so many babies and little girls with cute earrings kept me coming back to considering having it done.

    I asked our ped who encouraged me to have it done early when mommy could care for them. She gave some suggestions for moms having their dd’s ears pierced since she had so moms ask her about it. They included topical meds to minimize any discomfort and how to find the right person and place to have it done. I don’t know if you already had her ears pierced, but if you’re worried about your mom, don’t be. She’ll love how she looks with sweet little earrings. I’d say if your dd is asking and her peer group is getting them pierced, doing it now when you can care for them is the best time.

    I think you’re a smart mommy for weighing the pro’s and con’s. However, don’t think having her ears pierced is a ticket to Tiara’s and Toddlers.

    Why do women having their infants/little girls ears pierce? Some feel perceived gender of their child is important while others find it a cultural tradition where all infant girls have pierced ears. I pierced our oldest daughter’s ears when she was two months old and our youngest at just days old. We found an experienced individual where they specialized in infant piercing.

    If you don’t know how she’d look at any age, then hold up a pair of your studs to each ear and decide for yourself. Many moms including myself like the look of earrings on babies and little girls for no specific reason, but like how light plays off a simple gold ball on a bald baby girl or small gold hoop poking through the hair of a toddler.

    Cerebrally, as mothers of girls of all ages, we know babies and little girls celebrates their femaleness and femininity with cute gold studs in each ear. . After all, they are little girls, right? Growing up I remember many of my little girlfriends were not allowed to get their ears pierced. I could never understand it…but when their parents did finally let them, it always seemed they’d get infected because they were constantly touching them or trying to change out the earrings before they were supposed to. Many said it was painful, but all cried having a great deal of angst leading up to and including the actual ear piercing.

    Just when is the best time to pierce your daughter’s ears? It is when you are ready to care for them during the healing phase. They are very easy to care for. If you decide to do it as a newborn or infant, then I promise she’ll thank you later!

    If you or any other moms would like our ped’s tips, then don’t hesitate to write me an e-mail.


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  3. lrgeller

    Thanks for the comment! For now, she has stopped asking.. and I have stopped worrying about the whole thing. He hair is cut in a super short bob, so when I took you advice and held up the earrings, I realized she looked waaay to old, and promptly shelved the whole thing. Perhaps I’ll revisit in a few years time.

  4. Mom,
    I know your dd looked older with a short hair bob, but she is growing up. Not to worry, her friends will get them pierced and she’ll be back with you wanting them done again. Not to worry 🙂 Give her some sticker earrings and then magnetic ones. When she gets to this stage, she’ll be bugging you again.
    What was the “tipping point” which pushed me over to have her ears pierced? Two things: 1) first, I kept seeing more babies and little girls with cute earrings ( so did Sandi), 2) one day she came into the family room with one of my earrings and asking how to put it in her ears to look like mommy! Dh said for me to take her to have her ears pierced before we had to take her to the ER to remove it from her ear canal 🙂
    Keep my e-mail since it won’t be a few years, but a few months:)

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  6. sj

    I couldn’t agree more with the decision to shelve the idea. I actually feel the same way about long hair. Anything past shoulder-length on a girl younger than 11 smacks of Jeanbenet Ramsey– to me. I know, I’m in minority on that one.

  7. lrgeller

    I kind of agree about hair. I don’t like it to get too long, either. And don’t get me started on bikinis….

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