Annabel has expressed a mild interest in getting her ears pierced ever since a few of her friends had it done last year. She loves how earrings look, but has voiced a fear that the piercing will be painful. This may or may not be because the first time she asked me about it I was like, “Well, they clamp your earlobe and then they push a really big needle all the way through it, from one side to the other.” This lead to a lot of follow-up questions:

Her: Does it hurt?
Me: Well, it didn’t feel like a massage.

Her: They make a HOLE in your EAR?
Me: Yep!!

Her: Do your ears bleed?
Me: I think so? I remember my ears being kind of sticky, that was probably blood.

Her: But you have a bunch of piercings…
Me: I was definitely not sober for at least one of those (OK I didn’t actually tell her that.)

I really have no issues with her getting her ears pierced. My biggest thing has always been that she be old enough to handle keeping them clean, and that she understand that even though it’s minor on the pain scale, piercing isn’t getting tickled with feathers, either.

Annie never subscribed to the “beauty is pain” mantra, so ear piercing has been a hard pass for her. But in the last few weeks, she’s started talking about it again. After coming across a display of earrings yesterday while we were school shopping, she said, “I really want my ears pierced. Can we go watch people get their ears pierced?”

We walked over to the local Claire’s…just in time to watch a baby get her ears pierced. Annie asked the baby’s mom if it was okay for her to get up close and watch because, “I’m trying to get brave enough for this.”

Meanwhile, I stood a few feet away thinking this was going to set Annie back a few years because of COURSE the baby cried. I honestly thought Annie might even cry…she looked kind of pale when we headed back to the car. But then she said, “When we get home can I watch videos on YouTube of girls getting their ears pierced?” Um. Sure?

I queued up a list of videos and Annie sat like this watching them:

watching ear piercing videos

But then she totally shocked me by saying, “Mom, can we go back right now and get my ears pierced?” I’d seen that the next time they were offering ear piercing was on Saturday so I said, “No, they aren’t piercing ears again until Saturday.” She made a face but that was the last we talked about it.

When Mike came home, Annie followed him through the house talking about her day. They went into her bedroom for a while, and Mike looked confused when he emerged. “Annie says you told her she could get her ears pierced on Saturday?” You’d think I’d know by now that you have to be CLEAR with Annabel or she’ll hear what she wants!

After we told her that we’d have to talk about it, Mike asked her why she wanted her ears pierced. “Because they look pretty!” She replied. “That’s good enough for me,” I said. But Mike pressed on, “Don’t you think you’re a little young to get them pierced? Mom was 14 when she got her ears pierced.”

“FOURTEEN?!?!?!” Annabel screamed.

“Yeah, that’s how I felt about it, too,” I sighed.

“Why were you so old? I won’t be fourteen for a hundred million years!”

“Well, I wanted my ears pierced earlier but Gramma and Bampa wouldn’t let me.”

“That’s so mean!”

“Yeah, I thought so, too.”

Mike rolled his eyes and was like, “Okay, well, once mom gets over her decades-long grudge, we’ll talk about when you can get your ears pierced.”

After Annie went to bed, Mike said, “So, why shouldn’t she get her ears pierced?” And I was like, *shrug*. Like I said, I don’t really have any issues with it. She just has to truly understand what she’s choosing to do (you know, put holes in her ears), and know that there’s responsibility involved in helping them heal. I figure that since she’s kept her goldfish alive all this time (ask me how I feel about that), she’s probably going to be able to handle the responsibility of cleaning her ears.

Of course, she will also need to be able to get it done without totally losing her mind. Considering the last thing she said to us last night was, “I’m sure I could do it, I just might scream REALLY loud when it happens,” she might not be there yet.