By Diane Ako
For her 7th birthday, Claus and I let Olivia pierce her ears. It all came up rather spontaneously.
We were walking around Ward Center and passed the Merle Norman that my friend Gina manages. "Come in!" she ushered, asking me to help her with something.
While inside, Olivia started playing with makeup, and Gina, who has two boys, noticed how girly my daughter is. "I'm surprised she doesn't have pierced ears," commented Gina. "Does she want it?"
"Yes, she's been nagging for about three years," I said. "I haven't let her because she's so young it'll be me who has to take care of her ears."
"We do it here," Gina offered. "Seven is a good age."
Olivia's eyes popped open with hope. "Mommy! Yes! Can I? Please?!?"
I looked at Gina. "It's not that bad," she said. "You just have to sanitize the ears twice a day and make sure she twirls the post." She gave me written directions.
I got my ears pierced when I was 14. I nagged my mother for what seemed like a decade. Oh, did I ever want pierced ears.
I asked Claus, "Well, should we?"
"No," he said. "She's too young."
"We get girls as young as four. If they're ready, they're ready," Gina said.
"Can you do all the things Aunty Gina described for taking care of your own ears?" I asked, meaning the not taking it out for a month part.
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" Olivia nodded.
"It might hurt a little because it's poking through your ear. Are you OK with that?" I warned.
"Yes! Yes! Yes!" she replied.
"OK, why not. Daddy? What do you think?" I relented.
Claus looked at me with a look of betrayal for making him the bad guy if he were to say no. 'Cuz girly Aunty Gina who loves to play with makeup and Mommy are all on board with this, and now his daughter is looking at him expectantly. He said nothing.
"OK, do it," I confirmed.
Olivia picked out a pair of studs so fast, Gina commented it was the fastest she'd ever seen a child make a decision on that.
Then, Olivia opted to get both ears pierced at once to get the pain over with sooner. Gina thought that was unusual and brave for a little girl.
She didn't even cry! She was so excited to have it done.
I was very excited for Olivia because I'm into accessories and I love earrings. I always knew she'd get them pierced, I just thought she'd be a lot older - ten or 12. Somehow it just felt right on this day.
After it was over, I asked her how she felt. She said she was so excited she could tolerate the pain. She is thrilled, ecstatic.
"What do you think, Daddy?" I asked Claus, who simply stared at me for a few seconds.
"There are two new holes in my daughter," he responded.
I kissed his cheek. "You'll get used to it," I consoled.
If this is his attitude today, I feel sorry for him for when she starts wearing makeup or gets asked to the prom!