I happened to be in Claire's Accessories a few years ago doing some shopping. There was a young girl in there at the same time having her ears pierced. She was sobbing, saying she didn't want it done, she was frightened that it would hurt. Her mum was encouraging her to stick with it and in her words "you have to have it done at some time". Myself and other shoppers shot each other looks of shock. The young shop assistant with the ear piercing gun didn't know what to do for the best. If it was my child I would have taken her away, reassured her that she didn't need to have it done until she was ready, but the young girl's mother was still insisting. It upset me so much that I walked out of the shop without the things I had gone to buy.
Now, I'm not a terribly strict mum, but initially I didn't want her to have it done. Why would anyone want to do that to their child's ears? They look beautiful enough to me as they are. It took me four long years to persuade my parents to let me get my ears pierced and now I don't even bother wearing earrings anymore.
DD1 has remained pretty insistent since the start of year 6. She has not swayed from this at all. I have always said no but she is older now, able to deal with cleaning them and looking after them as they heal. Suddenly it doesn't seem such a big deal. Especially after I had fought long and hard with my folks 30 odd years ago over the same thing, this wasn't something I felt necessary to do with DD1. You've got to pick your battles after all.
At the weekend she went off to my mums house for the afternoon. On returning her home it was my mother who asked, "can she have her ears pierced? I'm going to get mine done too". It appears that my 11 year old daughter and my 70 year old mother had hatched a plan to get them done together (I'm not going to bore you with the story of why my mother has reached the age of 70 having never had her ears pierced but she has). So I agreed. Only on the proviso that they went to the tattoo and piercing parlour in town to have it done. I figure that if it's your business to use needles on people's skin then you are less likely to get it wrong - certainly less likely than a sixteen year old Saturday girl in Claire's is.
So on Monday morning that's where they went.
DD1 assures me that it didn't really hurt much and came home with supplies of witch hazel and cotton buds for cleaning them.
My mum said that when they went into the chemist to ask for it all the assistant exclaimed "just had your ears pierced?!" and when my mum said "yes, me too!" She was told "you'll be getting a tattoo next!".
Perish the thought.