Several months ago my daughter Caroline approached my husband and I with a question. Her common introduction to these queries is, “Can I ask you a question?” Whenever I hear this phrase or see it in a text my stomach drops. I get nervous wondering what this question might be. Why would this question need its own introductory question? Sometimes they are difficult questions that can’t be answered immediately like, “Can I go to a dance that ends at midnight?” Other times they are silly like “Can I wear my sneakers to school tomorrow?”
In this case the question was, “Can I please get a second hole?”
Some history here, when she was a baby I had resisted the urge to have her ears pierced because I feared they would be difficult to take care of. A few years later when she was three she asked my husband if she could get her ears pierced for her birthday. Shockingly he agreed. His answer caught me completely off guard I couldn’t believe he agreed to let her get her ears pierced. I would never in a million years thought he would say yes. Yet there we were off to get her ears pierced.
It was hard to find a pediatrician who still pierced ears and our own pediatrician advised against it. Ignoring the Doctors recommendation we proceeded anyway and luckily, we were able to find a Dr. who did a great job piercing her ears. What’s more is they really weren’t a bother at all. In fact they were so easy to care for I ran out and got my younger daughter’s ears pierced as well. She was only a year at the time.
Here we are now 8 years later and she is asking for a second hole. I find these tween years to be daunting. Trying to find a balance can be difficult. I want her to be happy, which is becoming exceedingly difficult as we enter on this journey of moody adolescence. It is quite a roller coaster ride. Mostly she is a pretty happy tween, however, there are times even the slightest wrong word can put her in a funk. Lately, more often than not I am the one causing her to be upset which makes my heart hurt. I long for the days when just the mere sight of mom made her happy, when she would hold my face and tell me she loved me to the moon and back.
Even if it hurst me to see her angry and upset I can’t let her do whatever she wants for the sake of happiness. During these tween years especially it is important that she knows there are rules and they must be followed, sometimes even at the cost of her happiness. I continually wrestle with trying to find that middle ground between the parents who let their kids do everything and those who aren’t allowed to do anything. It is an arduous job trying to navigate these waters of murky tween years.
So to pierce or not to pierce was the question. Caroline made a pretty good case for the earrings. In fact, she even wrote her father and I a persuasive letter laying out her case. She sounded like a lawyer explaining the facts of the case. She explained how responsible she is and listed several examples. She even offered to make her bed everyday forever, which I hated to break to her she should be doing anyway.
I actually was okay with the idea and I gave the go ahead. I have three holes myself, although I think the last time those holes saw earrings was when the New Kids On The Block saw the top of the charts.
My mistake was then asking around after I had given the green light to Caroline. Honestly, I was a little shocked by people’s strong reactions to the topic. Many of my friends and colleagues couldn’t believe I had agreed to it. Honestly, I really didn’t think it was such a big deal. Is a second hole the gateway piercing? Next would she be asking for lip, eyebrow, and tongue piercings. I was so confused by the reactions I got that I questioned my one friend. I wanted to know the why. Her answer was brilliant and I am sorry I didn’t think of it myself. She explained that as she gets older she will want to do other things that I might really have a problem with like a navel piercing or a tattoo. In those cases I will have the perfect reply, “You can’t do that but how about that second hole you have always wanted?” This is a good tween teen parenting tip to file away for later.
I had already agreed at that point and head to move ahead with the plan. The pediatrician who did her first piercing no longer was practicing so off we went to the mall to Claire’s to get her ears pierced. Her friend also got the okay and accompanied us to the mall as well. Claire’s is pretty good as far as ear piercing goes. It’s a clean store and they require your parent’s permission, which is good. The starter earrings start as low as $14 but there are more expensive options available. They also spend a good deal of time explaining to you how to care for your new earrings. Although, Caroline seemed a little scared at first it was a pretty positive experience and she loves her new earrings. So I was the hero again… at least for a few days.
Brittany and Caroline so excited to get their earrings!
Looking a little scared!
Brittany is as cool as a cucumber.
Yeah! They are all done!