As a parent to a little girl, there are many exciting girly milestones to look forward to. I use the word “exciting” with much trepidation.. what’s exciting to mum and daughter, may be cocking-the-shotgun excitement for dad. I am more than happy to bide my time, and let the years pass at snail’s pace, before I need to deal with Hannah’s first date, her first broken heart or her first bad hair style which she will have to tearfully endure until her hair grows back. For now, I’m enjoying the less stressful milestones.. her first pair of sparkly shoes, her first set of hair ribbons and of course, getting her ears pierced!
I had put off the ear piercing for a number of reasons. First and most importantly, I was SCARED, but I put on the big girl panties and dealt with the fear of crying in public – not Hannah, ME. Secondly, I thought that perhaps I should wait until she was at an age to decide for herself if she wanted holes poked into her body, but then I thought hey, where’s the fun in being a parent if you can’t make your kids do what YOU want them to do? Hellooo, that’s what being a parent is all about, inflicting all sorts of torture on your kids, right?! That’s a joke, before you all rush to dial a 0800 number on me. Thirdly, I actually couldn’t find a shop willing to pierce the ears of a child under the age 18, without the parent signing off a long and laborious indemnity that basically states if her ears had to fall off due to the piercing, they would not be held liable for the medical costs related to an ear transplant.
Right, once I had dealt with all the stumbling blocks above, we were ready to put some bling on baby! My first mistake was taking big brother along. While the shop assistants were trying, in vain, to clean and then mark her lobes, Liam was throwing a midget tantrum, demanding that they leave his sister alone. I usually try and explain what’s happening for Liam’s sake, but I couldn’t be heard above his and Hannah’s shouting. Although the husband wanted to be a part of this piercing party, he was forced to take Liam out to get some air. So once they had marked her ears, I had to look from every angle to ensure they were perfectly and comparably correct. This took about five minutes to do, with four mirrors, three irritated shop assistants and one grizzly baby all glaring at me; hey I was paying good money for this service. I was quite impressed with the precision with which these ladies operated – each had a piercing gun, so that baby would feel one double dose of pain, instead of two singles. Clucking in a foreign language, it sounded like they were discussing how they would count down and SHOOT on ZERO! It was all very exciting, like waiting for a rocket to BLAST OFF! I was holding Hannah tight, with the back of her head flat against my chest and my hand across her forehead, both her arms were secured in a hold that would impress a professional wrestler. And then the moment..
I was impressed when I heard no scream escape her mouth, I turned her around to give her a proud big girl hug, when I realised that she was still in shock and hadn’t caught her breath from the sheer pain of it all! Poor baby eventually let out the wail she was storing up and continued to do so, until I paid and thanked everyone profusely. I rushed out the store with yelling baby and could feel the first effects of GMS (Guilty Mother Syndrome), shooting through my veins. I needed a BIG FAT SUGARY TREAT FAST! However, my brave girl got it together all on her own, with much hugging, kissing and soothing Motherese (Google it), she sucked it up and proudly showed off her lobes to Dad and Brother (who was still sneering through the shop window at the sharp shooters).
So, pretty girl milestone number one, down pat! Next on the list, a bright pink tutu with matching tights – just for fun! Yes, yes, she’ll thank me later!