Piercing Cries

My daughter has never been a fan of blood. It’s been a harrowing experience to loose teeth, fall down, get shots, not unlike a lot of kids I imagine. We have had all the talks about blood being important and not a scary thing. Nothing has ever worked.

She turned 10 this week and had a wiggly tooth. When she began asking me to pull it and didn’t flinch when I did so (even though it didn’t come out) I started thinking maybe we were turning a corner. For her bday she asked to get her ears pierced. Before when she would ask, she chickened out and changed her mind immediately so it was off the table for a bit. We have been talking about it all week, she jokingly asked me to cancel the appointment, but when pressed really did want to go do it, she was just nervous.

The day of our appointment – we agreed I would re-pierce my now closed 2nd earring hole for the 3rd time if she got hers done – we walked into the tattoo/piercing shop and she was so excited. We had talked about the color stone she wanted and the earrings she would eventually swap them for. It took me THREE attempts to sign the stupid form on my phone they required and in that time she was getting more and more antsy to get it done.

She sits up on the table and the lady explains everything about the process. She shows her the clamp that goes onto her lobe and talks her through it. My daughter first got anxious when she felt the pressure of the clamp. … but we were still laughing and joking around. She asked the piercing person to show her the needle. “After I pierce your ear, you can see it.” was her reply.

Lots of wiggling and doubt later, the pierce happens and the depths of a fiery, hormonal, tearful hell ring out through the tiny shop.

“Wow… I think someone needs to start acting classes.” – Piercer.

My daughter is PISSED and she is shouting all kinds of ridiculousness, “You LIED about it not hurting!!” (No one ever said it wouldn’t hurt) “Why didn’t you do this when I was younger, MOM?!?!!?” (she was pissed I didn’t have this done when she was a baby so as to be already pierced) “I just want to go back in TIIIIIIME!” (and never do this)

It was ridiculous. It was embarrassing.

They offered to put some numbing gel on, which she accepted, but then never let her put the clamp on for ear #2. I said, “How about I do my first side and by the time that’s done, she can finish your other side.”


So I get my ear pierced and my daughter flips out on me, “What?! What the.. How can you just sit there through that?!!?” *wailing sobbing refusal*

This went on and on and on.

We agree to at least finish both of my ears so I sit back onto the table and “CRASH!” My big fat ass – without being near anything – manages to knock one of the ladies tchatchkis over and it breaks.

omg. Can I just crawl under a rock already? Please?

The crashing and breaking and quiet seething from the piercer changed the energy in the room and my daughter was feeling a little less panicky. She pierces my 2nd side and I feel a hot *drip* on my shoulder. My daughter is horrified. It seems the piercer’s aim was so good, she stuck the scar tissue in my ear from before and the result was a lot of blood. On my neck, on my purse strap over my shoulder, and it wasn’t stopping.

If a ten year old could say “Fuck this!” mine would have said it right then and there. Her giant green eyes said it for her and despite any reality of walking around life with one earring in 4th grade, she did not give a crap. She refused to have her second ear pierced.

My nerves were shot, my patience depleted, and a bleeding ear decided to stop fighting the inevitable. The appointment after us was made late due to the drama and we left with my kid moaning and sobbing her apologies for wasting everyone’s time and money. She was mad at herself and talking somberly about ruining everything and feeling awful.

We got home in time for me to finish cooking her birthday dinner while trying not to drop blood into the boiling potatoes. My ear kept reopening and bleeding throughout the evening.

By the time we got home she had moved on and was now contemplating life as a pirate and being 100% fine with it. I, on the other hand, a day later am still trying to stop my ears from ringing from all of the shouting and sobbing and yelling and crying for an hour the day before.

I did get a nice text from the Tattoo shop owner/piercer this morning:

“I just wanted to say you’re an amazing and patient momma. You handled
yesterday with an immaculate amount of kindness mixed with some tough
love. I hope the rest of the evening went well.”

That was nice. It helped probably that I felt I had to give her a giant tip for putting her other artist and their client through the wailings of a ten year old tyrant, not to mention having to push back her next appointments because of how long the whole ordeal lasted.

The worst part, even more than the humiliation I felt, was that was not representative of what my daughter is. That screaming accusation-throwing heathen was not my girl. I was just sad that was the image she left those folks of who she is. I can work with a single ear piercing, but I don’t like strangers thinking my kid actually behaves that way on a normal basis.

And we are out of Advil …. 😦

2 thoughts on “Piercing Cries

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