The Real Reason My Daughter's Ears Are Not Pierced

The milestone that never happenedThe milestone that never happenedEarrings are kind of a big deal. Maybe it's because I grew up with three sisters and am currently the mother to three daughters. The tradition is was once Baby has received her first shots, she gets her ears pierced. Now, you're either "Team Pierce Them Young" or "Team Let Them Decide." As for me, I was of the former. I figured it was just like getting shots. Except instead of a set of band-aids, you get a sparkly set of baby bling. After a couple of cuddles, the tears are gone, and everyone goes on with the rest of their lives. But for some reason, I never got Baby Z's ears pierced after her first shots. Perhaps it was the thought of lugging three kids to the mall while just two months postpartum and feeling terribly sleep deprived that kept me away. I figured there wasn't any absolute rush to have them pierced.

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There were a few times during the year that I thought I would go - on her first birthday, for example. It just never happened. The longer I waited, the more my mother nagged encouraged me to have them done. She even offered to pay for the earrings herself. A lack of cash certainly wasn't the issue. It just felt unnecessary. Perhaps because she was my third child, and simply a lot of things began to feel unnecessary. Having her ears pierced wouldn't make her sleep better at night or have her avoid staining her clothes during every mealtime. Yet, for some reason there was this pressure to have them pierced. So, I finally caved and made the trip to the mall specifically to pierce my daughter's ears.

We headed over to the accessories shop that I took my other two daughters to. It was a busy day for ear piercing. Ahead of us, there was a little girl sitting in the chair about to get her ears pierced for the first time. She was five. The voice of doubt began to taunt me. "Five years old. One year old. Five years old. One year old." I figured it would just go as it always did with my other daughters. Some tears, some soothing hugs and kisses from Mama, and everyone goes home with some after care solution.

I filled out the forms, showed our ID, picked the earrings I wanted, and hopped into the seat for our turn. Baby Z was amused by it all until it came time to mark her ears with the felt tip marker. She quickly brushed away the woman's hand. I tried to distract her with a highlighter drawing smiley faces on my palm. No luck. Each time the woman approached with the marker, Zaynab swatted her hand away. In a final attempt, I took the felt tip marker and marked Zaynab's earlobes myself. She of course grabbed her lobes and smeared the marker.

Needless to say, I'm now "Team Let Them Decide." There is no way in the world would I have sat there and restrained my infant daughter for the sake of something I considered unnecessary. Sure, earrings are cute and fun, but seriously though - they're not worth it. Sorry, Mom. So now my baby girl will grow up and decide for herself when she feels she's ready to have this special milestone take place. She'll pick out her own earrings, climb up onto the seat herself, and tell me directly, "Okay Mama, I'm ready."

- By Amnah Ibrahim

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