Monday, November 02, 2009


At the end of the day Sunday, I could say that I have an almost 6 year old that now has pierced ears. That sounds like a fairly simple statement and I'd guess for a lot of people it would be. But when it comes to Caroline, things usually aren't that simple.

Back around the time that Caroline turned 5, she had some interest in ear piercing and I told her that now that she was 5, I would consider it when she was ready. But for most of this year, she's been back and forth about it and given how well I know her, I knew that she wasn't ready. I kept telling her that no one has to get their ears pierced and that when she is ready, she will know. Her biggest issue was the potential for it hurting. Of course, I assured her that while it does hurt a little, it's not terrible. So every now and then, she would bring it up but most times ending her thought that she didn't want it yet.

However, something changed 2 weeks ago and she started telling me she was READY! So much so that she kept talking about it all the time and when I told her, yes, we could do it, she got VERY excited. She talked about how excited she was to wear real earrings and to ask for earrings for her birthday and Christmas. She asked a little bit about the pain, but seemed to be okay with it. I had made an appointment to finally get Bryce's 4 year photos taken at the mall and I figured since we were there, it was a Ravens game day (low crowds), and not Christmas season yet, that it would be a good day to go. I also decided to take her to Piercing Pagoda rather than something like Claire's because their online reviews were a little better and they seem to have some higher quality products which I think is important for a first piercing. However, their little "store" is in the middle of the mall as opposed to a store, but not thinking we'd have any problems, I didn't even consider it. (I thought differently of that later.)

Bryce's 4 year shots came out really well (I'll post later) and we headed down the mall with a slightly anxious, but mostly excited little girl. My mom had come with us and I'm so glad she did because the 40 minute ordeal would have been too much for me to manage with Bryce and Caroline.

I went up to the counter and set things in motion. Caroline picked out some really cute birthstone studs and I did all the paperwork and payment. No signs of trouble so far. The woman working the stand, Nicki, told Caroline to come around behind the counter and get into the chair. Again, no problem - Caroline got right up in the chair and I asked her if I could take a "before" shot which she agreed to. I took the photo and then BOOM, complete attitude change. All of a sudden she started crying and trying to run away. I caught her and got down and asked what was wrong, but in typical anxious Caroline mode, she wouldn't talk and was full on MEAN. She just kept stomping her foot and wouldn't talk. I reminded her that we were here because SHE wanted to be here and that if she chose not to get it done today, that was okay with me, all she had to do was tell me and I'd get my money back and we'd leave. Well, that wasn't what she wanted to hear either. She insisted she wanted to get it done but was scared it was going to hurt. At this point, I think a few people around were noticing an unhappy little girl. She wasn't screaming or making a lot of noise, but it was apparent she was unhappy.

Nicki finally convinced her to sit on my lap in the chair and I thought things were looking up she even got her to let her put the dots on to show where the earrings would go. Maybe this would happen??? Nope, she kept crying and saying she was scared of the pain. Then a friendly (female) mall security guard walked up and started talking to us too - she had a LOT of ear piercings and was trying to help us all make the event seem more lighthearted. We all tried to help her be less scared - we even joked about how getting bitten by her little brother hurts WAY more than getting your ears pierced. Still, no budging. I continued to tell her we didn't have to do this but every time I said it, that made her angrier. UGH!!!!

At this point, I'm stressed and realizing people are watching and thinking that I am some mean, terrible mother MAKING her little girl get her ears pierced. I wanted to wave some flag and tell them, "HEY! I'm not making her!" Finally, I gave Caroline an ultimatum and told her she had to tell Nicki she was ready or that she wanted to leave. I stopped talking, the security guard went away, and Nicki started talking to her one on one. She somehow got Caroline to calm down and asked her if she was ready and that she and the other lady working there were going to do it at the same time. Caroline must have agreed (I couldn't see her face) and Nicki loaded up the "guns." She told Caroline to close her eyes and before I knew it, they were posed on each side of her head and ready to go. They said, 1,2,3 and did it. I could hear the little guns working (sounded like staplers) and was just waiting for Caroline to flinch. She didn't.

Instead, as soon as they moved away from her, Caroline turned into the happiest, proudest little girl you've EVER seen. They handed her a mirror and she just beamed at herself. She was so excited, she wasn't that interested in a lollipop or sticker although then she came to her senses a little bit and took the reward.

I stood up and felt completely war torn. I told Nicki and the other employee how much I appreciated their help. They smiled and I could tell they were legitimately happy she made it through. Caroline was bouncing all over the place and could NOT STOP giggling and smiling.

Whew. I could finally breathe again. So we went upstairs for a treat and Caroline continued to jabber about her new additions. She said, "Mommy, why didn't you tell me it would only feel like a staple going into my ear? It barely hurt at all!!"

I just smiled, but I was thinking, had I told you that, you wouldn't have believed me because you believed NOTHING I told you in those minutes leading up to the actual piercing. (And really, how would you know what a staple going into your ear feels like, have you tried it?) After the kids guzzled down some root beer, we headed over to The Children's Place and Caroline was thrilled to see all the mirrors because then she could walk around and admire herself. (Barf) She really was pleased with herself, as was I, but given the stress to get to that point, the bloom was off the rose a bit for me, so to speak.

Finally we got home and relayed the story to Jason. Caroline was still busting and just kept talking about how excited she was to go to school today to show everyone. Then this morning, she was up and dressed earlier than usual and had me do her hair to make sure her ears were showing. I just hope the newness wears off soon and that her earring fever doesn't end up making her be less than attentive today in class.


Lisa :-) said...

That is a funny story. I know when my oldest got her ears done we had them done at the same time.(at the Piercing Pogada) She was so excited to have them done and she didn't have any issues. Our first attempt wasn't didn't go as well. I had made an appointment at the peds office to have them done and they got everything ready and then she started screaming and wouldn't let them touch her!

My Youngest daughter had her ears done and she did okay, but they got infected and we had to take the earrings out and she still to this day has not gotten the redone. She talks about it, but has never asked. She is 14.

Katie said...

Oh my! Ears pierced!!!!!! Wow C is so grown up!

I remember getting my ears pierced in 3rd grade. I can't believe my mom let me do it, but I think it was only b/c my older sister AM was getting hers done in 5th grade and my mom just let me get them done too.

I remember feeling so special though. What a big moment!