Today, I purposely put my child in pain for the name of beauty: I had my two-year-old’s ears pierced. And as I sat and held her while she screamed (they were cleaning her ear lobes with alcohol before the piercing, mind you…), I felt a wave of guilt wash over me. I heard myself saying, “Kailyn you’re going to be so pretty!” quickly followed by, “I mean, you are always pretty but now your ears are going to be so pretty!” Gulp. Had I turned into one of THOSE moms? I panicked…am I giving my daughter a complex? Is she going to think that beauty is only external, and that she needs to alter her appearance to become beautiful? Shit. I am torturing my child in the name of fashion! What’s next…baby stilettos??
When she was a little baby, I wanted to pierce her ears. But I decided that it was unfair to put her in pain for something that she didn’t choose for herself. So, I waited… wistfully looking at all of the other cute baby girls with earrings while people continually congratulated me on my cute baby boy (seriously…she is dressed in pink hearts and has a purple HEADBAND, people!). I decided that I would let K make her own decision when she was ready. And about three weeks ago, she started asking for earrings. “Earrings, mommy!”… “Sticks in Kailyn’s ear!” she would say. It was just what I had been waiting for.
As soon as the piercing it was over, my husband scooped her off of my lap and brought her to a full length mirror to distract her from the entire ordeal. The moment she saw her reflection, she stopped crying. She examined her new ears and started to giggle. Then, she marched over to the woman who pierced her ears and said “thank you!”. I let out the breath that I didn’t realize I was holding. She liked them. She was HAPPY. I’m not a cruel mom…I am just giving my daughter what she wants. That is, of course, until she asks for Dora to be permanently tattooed on her bicep. I mean, really, I do have my limits.