Before Baby Bird was born, I knew I’d want to have her ears pierced. She’s a girl, I thought. She has to have earrings.
Then I took her for her first shots. The cry she let out when she felt the needle broke my heart and made me want to clock the nurse. I knew it was for her benefit, though, so I kept my hands to myself.
Those appointments have only gotten harder. She now gives me a look that says, “how can you let them do this to me? Et tu, Mommy?”
When she hit 6 months old — the age at which the children’s spa will perform piercings (yes, I said the children’s spa) — I felt conflicted. I wanted her to have earrings, but I wasn’t sure I could — or should — make her cry for the sake of vanity.
In such situations, what’s a mom to do?
Make Dada decide, then be pissed if his decision hurts her.
Don’t judge me.
We arrived as the spa opened and talked to an employee about what we wanted. She was very young, very knowledgeable, and very excited for Baby Bird.
She was perceptive, too. She noticed my apprehension and gave me a lollipop to calm me down.
I held Baby Bird on my lap as two workers prepared to pierce her ears. I closed my eyes, held her head still, and waited for the guns to click.
My child’s scream was heart-wrenching. It was the worst I’d heard from her in her whole life, and I immediately started second-guessing everything.
What had I done? What had I let my husband do? We might have seriously scarred her!
Tears burned my eyes and my chest hurt.
Then Baby Bird got quiet.
Mr. T took her from me, rubbed her back, gave her a few kisses, and she was fine. She even gave a gummy grin. She was babbling away in a matter of minutes.
My baby was a trooper. The pain — and probably the noise — rattled her, but she recovered quickly and stuck the landing.
I, on the other hand, needed another lollipop. And a drink.