Friday, September 16, 2011
I Pierced My Daughter's Ears
When I asked my mom if she came out from her stomach with her ears pierced my mom laughed and at first answered yes. Then she later answered no with a long explanation- the summary of it all was that it is not just her earrings that made her a girl and she tried to explain to me the differences between me and my brother. I recalled it being a boring talk because I wanted to join my brothers outside to plat football and wondered how I landed myself a talk.
Well anyways I always knew that when I had a girl, if it were possible I would want the doctor to pierce her ears and if I had a boy I would want him circumcised. Well our Dr. Banjoko, at home in Nigeria would just pierce it before my mom brought us home but not here it is recommended that you wait at least 2 months. I waited 3 months partly because I was a chicken and didn't want to torture her. I did find a pediatrician to do it for me, he was great but it was very hard hearing her scream but she stopped by the time I got her in her car seat (within minutes).
Before I had it done, I tried to talk myself out of doing it and hated that it wasn't done when everything was been done to her at the hospital. But I had pressure from my husband and my family, and then I thought well why wait? she will get old enough to mess with it and end up with an infection? or should I wait until ... well what exactly am I waiting for it was normal to me that girls have their ears pierced and boys didn't. In fact, it was how I always told them apart until I was older and saw the world with an open mind.
Some people had some brutal things to say about it though, "why will you pierce her ears at this age"- "that is just hurtful'; "is it for her or for you?"; "why not let her decide when she is older?" "your daughter cannot care for her ears at this point?"; "what if she doesn't want her ears pierced?"; "this is just ridiculously selfish of you" ... I didn't expect those reactions so I didn't have an answer right away. So I started paying attention to some of my colleagues children, some had their children's ears pierced and some didn't. When I asked the ones that didn't do it why? they said that their parent's waited till they were teenagers and it was something that they looked forward to and so they wanted that for their children. The ones that did it, some said it was traumatic waiting and so they didn't want it for their children, and others said that they felt that it makes girls look cute and well duh.
If you looked at my childhood pictures, my sisters and I wore the same earrings till we were about 3 (it was a gold earring with a hook) and then we all had a gold very small dangling earring until about 16 and then my mom bought us two different earrings as a gift and that was sort of our permission to change earrings as we pleased.
I don't plan on changing her earrings as an infant, I am actually not that fancy so unless she looses it, I probably won't think about it. I didn't pierce her ears in the name of fashion, it was just something that I carried from childhood that girls pierced their ears and boys didn't. It is amazing how many decisions you will make for your child that will get you looks or opinions of others but remember that you are the parent and as long as your decisions are not harmful to your child, you will make the right decisions. Good luck with parenting.