Toddlers And Tattoos - August 29, 2012

I’m still waiting for a call from CPS.  I had my daughter’s ears pierced when she was 3 months old.  According to a single man with no dating prospects that I met at a BBQ, this is the same as giving her a tattoo.  This isn’t the first person that has given me this same shame-shame-shame speech.  Sometimes, they use words and sometimes they stare at me like I just bludgeoned my kid with a baseball bat.


Even though I was born in the USA, my mother took me to India when I was 3 months old and had my ears pierced.  I never went through the mom-please, mom-pretty-please-can-I-get-my-ears-pierced phase because for as long as I can remember, my ears have been pierced.  Earrings have been like hair accessories for me.  They’re just something that is second nature to put on.  I’m not a bling-it-out, jewelry kind of girl, but I always wear studs (one husband and two earrings).


When my daughter was 3 months old, it seemed like the natural thing to do.  I didn’t go to the nearest head shop, hope that they used a sterile needle and hand her a bottle of bourbon to withstand the pain (that was me when I got my nose pierced in my early twenties).  I took her to the doctor’s office: a clean environment, an MD and an earring gun with a sterile needle (the only time I’ll ever let someone put a gun to my daughter’s head).


It’s not like I took her to some small, Indian village, had them burn a hot wire and poke it through her ear lobes.  [Insert sidetrack] I did this when I was in high school to get my nose pierced.  I thought it looked really cool, while we were traveling in India.  The pain rivaled that of childbirth.  Seriously, this old man with no shirt, a long gray beard and an Indian dhoti on (picture a longer loin cloth) took a thin gold wire, heated it over an open flame, pierced my nose with it and then put his fingers up my nose to tie the two ends of the wire together.  No sterile gloves and dirt stains on his fingers.  For the next two weeks, I had to keep turning the wire to keep the skin from closing around it and rub my saliva on it.  Yes, rubbing spit on it apparently keeps the bacteria in check.  And, yes, this makes absolutely no sense to me either.


When I returned to school that fall, my fellow classmates nicely likened me to a bull.  Rather than stand my ground and stay strong with my own sense of self, I took it out and let it close up.  In hindsight, I wish I had been the kind of girl who kept it in and didn’t succumb to peer pressure. [End Sidetrack]


There are doctor’s offices that pierce ears, so surely other parents must be doing this, right?  It’s not the same thing as giving your kid a tattoo.  The hole doesn’t get bigger, as they grow.  If you tattoo a baby, their skin will stretch out over time and you’ll no longer be able to decipher what it is.  You’ll just have to get it removed when they stop growing and pay for the whole thing all over again.  What a waste of money!


All jokes aside, maybe my daughter will get mad at me someday for this.  If she does, then it’ll be between her and me.  Now, all I can picture is my daughter with a huge MOM tattoo on her.


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