Holes in My Head

A few months ago, Bart and I were talking about various milestones for our future children and I asked him what he wanted to do about our daughters getting their ears pierced.

I had my ears pierced when I was nine. I remember being aware that my Dad wasn’t very thrilled about the whole thing. His mom has never pierced her ears (she has a extensive collection of clip-on earrings) and his sisters didn’t either (although, one did when she was in her 40s and, when my mom commented on it, said that her dad still didn’t know). So, for my Dad, it seemed right not to have any piercing going on.

Fortunately for me, he couldn’t very well say “no” since my Mom had her ears pierced (and every intention of keeping them like that). So he decided that, if piercing was inevitable, he would at least use it as leverage to get us to do something he wanted us to do. He struck a deal with us – when we learned our multiplication tables up to 15 x 15 and could do two sets of 100 in less than 10 minutes and get at least 95% correct, we could get our ears pierced.

I’m the kind of kid (and adult, really) who likes a challenge. I think I learned mine in just a few weeks. (And I still know almost all of them off the top of my head). I clearly remember how excited I was to go to Claires, pick out my studs (little stars with diamonds in them). I remember carefully cleaning them every night and twisting them twice daily to keep them from getting stuck (yuck!). I was so thrilled.

When I asked Bart about what condition he might want to impose on our children, he got a strange look on his face. “I’ve never really thought about it, but I’ve just realized I’m pretty deeply opposed to letting our kids get their ears pierced.” What?

Bart’s mom doesn’t have her ears pierced (she also wears clip-on earrings occasionally) and I don’t know about his three sisters (although I’d guess they all do), so I can see why Bart is naturally disinclined.

But I love my pierced ears. I wear earrings almost every day. I loathe clip-on earrings because they hurt my ears. I don’t think one set of holes is in any way tacky or weird or gross. I can’t imagine letting them grow in – I like them too much. And Bart had never said a word about my pierced ears (although he has, on occasion, commented that he likes a particular pair of earrings).

And so, because Bart is in the same boat as my Dad, I’m sure we’ll let our girls pierce their ears. I want them to pierce their ears if they want to – it’s just a fun perk of being a girl, if you are so inclined.

Now we just have to think up an appropriate payment for the privilege.

Are your ears pierced? Do you feel strongly one way or the other? And what about your significant other?

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  1. Oof, this reminds me of when JG realized that he was anti-makeup. It was not pretty around here for a while.

    But to be on topic, my ears are pierced and it hasn’t come up as an issue for the future. I think ears are one of those “safe” piercing areas for us. They might be the only one, now that I think about it.

  2. Ooo..the first comment! Cindy doesn’t have her ears pierced, and although I think she would rather wear real earrings, I think she’s too scared to actually get them pierced at this point. Deborah’s are pierced, but it took her a long time to get the guts up for it. So for those reasons, Philip is all for piercing our daughters ears when they’re under the age of one. I don’t particularly love that idea…I think every girl should earn her earrings!!

  3. Another interesting connection for us Janssen…My dad’s mother and three sisters do not have their ears pierced either. I think my dad was a little put out when my mom and I went on a date when I was 10 or 11 on a whim to get my ears pierced. He hasn’t said anything about it since. Phil always tells me I have cute earrings and that I wear earrings more than any girl he’s ever known. I told him it’s a trade off–I wear earrings so I don’t have to spend the time putting on make up every day. 🙂 I like the idea of earning earrings and I would never pierce my baby’s ears.

  4. I promise that I am not saying this to be controversial… but we are planning on getting our baby’s ears peiced right away.

    Maybe I am just excited about having my own personal barbie doll to primp and dress but little girls with peirced ears are so cute!

    Plus, there is nothing more anooying when someone confuses the gender of your baby.

    Also, it is hard to wrestle a little girl into taking care of her ears, but easy to take care of a baby’s ears yourself until they are perfectly healed.

    I can understand why others might consider this move controversial and barbaric. I just don’t.

  5. I hate it when parents pierce their baby’s ears. I don’t think babies or toddlers or little girls with earrings are cute. My parents said when we turned 12 we could get our ears pierced. Tim and I figure that works for us, too. (We also agree on no makeup or nail polish till 14 as well.)

    I don’t remember the last time I wore earrings. It’s been ages.

  6. And I don’t mean to offend Bethany, but I hate when people pierce their baby’s ears. I just think it looks kind of ridiculous (and trashy) and I think that a child should have a choice in the matter. Just being honest. Although, I do think Bethany makes some very valid points about why she is piercing her babies ears.

    We were supposed to have to wait until we were 16, but then my mom bought my sister earrings when she was in Japan and that was that. We all got them pierced. I was eight.

    I do like the idea of earning them, and along the lines of Bethany’s comment, I think maybe by showing that your daughter is capable of taking care of something for a prolonged period of time.

    Just some thoughts!

  7. How interesting you bring this up. M and I have been debating it. My dad didn’t want my sister and I to pierce our ears until we were 16. This was a little odd because my mom wears her hair very short, so she is quite the earring wearer to keep from being called “sir.” I didn’t mind not doing it so much at first, so I didn’t. It kinda became a comfortable rut and I was nervous about “permanent holes in my body.” My sister convinced my dad to lower his limit to 14. By that time, I was 17.5. I decided I wanted to once I really thought about it and my sis and I went together. I was really glad I waited until I was old enough to really think it through though. I felt like >>I<< really decided and not peer pressure. I have never regretted it for a moment. Clip ons would have never worked for me, they always have to be so big and clunky. I'm a small studs kinda gal 95% of the time, with occasionaly small danglies on special occasions. But never hoops (I can't keep from saying it...), big hoops are prostitute earrings. I would NEVER pierce my baby's ears. I want it to be their decision, and besides (I can't keep from saying it...) it would seem out of place on my caucasian babies. So I don't know what age M and I will settle on or if we will tie it to an accomplishment. I suspect it will be in the broad 12-18 range. I guess we'll keep duking it out! But as for me, I love earrings. It may not be apparent since I pick the same pair almost every day, but I take out my earrings each night and then hand select a new pair each morning. Ugh, and makeup, that’s another fight for another day…

  8. I love how your family makes you work for things. It makes you really appreciate them. Wow, I learn so much from your family. I wish I could take a parenting class from them!!!! Honestly, I am always impressed.

    Down to the real issue. I love my ears being pierced! I have a simple pair of pearls I wear almost everyday. I will definitely allow my girls to get it done, but not until they are old enough to appreciate it and take care of them. I think from 8 on it’s a go.

  9. For what it’s worth (and it ought to help your case, regardless) the prophet of the Church has said that young women should have no more than one set of piercings in their ears. That means that one set of piercings in their ears (not their belly button, tongue, etc.) is *perfectly fine*.

    I got my ears pierced around age 8, I think, and had to have them re-pierced twice because they closed up each time. When I was in my late teens and a BYU student, my younger sister and I went out and got a second setting set of holes put right above our first sets. Nobody, including our parents, freaked out over it. When I met my future husband, however, he told me what the prophet had declared. I thought he was totally making that up until we were sitting in a satellite broadcast (the same one, I believe, when GBH introduced his 6 Be’s) and I heard the prophet say that with my own ears. Ever since that time, I have never worn earrings in those second holes again. That was several years ago and those holes still haven’t closed up. (To be honest, I hardly wear earrings in my first set, either, and those holes are still there, too.)

    Girls should be able to have their ears pierced once if they choose. My husband thinks 14 is a good age to wait for our girls to have their ears pierced, but I think that’s unreasonable since most girls desire pierced ears long before that age. (By 14, there are more important issues worth battling over than a couple of measly earrings.) I agree that it is an individual decision, so I won’t take that choice away from kids by piercing them because that’s what *I* want. You never know if a girl may NOT want to pierce her ears.

    If you want your kids to have to work for the privilege, so be it. I think it’s fine to make it just a simple “coming-of-age” (age of accountability?) type of milestone. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with working for what you want, learning responsibility or becoming smarter in the process (if you have to learn those multiplication tables anyway, why not?)

  10. A few years ago for her Christmas present or birthday present (same month, can’t remember which), I took my sister to have her ears repierced after years on nonpiercedness. She was 18ish, and she loves me forever for it.

    As a boy, I’ve never thought, “Hmmm, big hoops: clearly a prostitute.”

  11. I also got my ears pierced when I was nine, and I had to BEG my parents to let me have it done. Finally they relented and I was so excited! When I was 17 and had just moved to college I also got a second set of holes and another one at the top of my left ear.

    Now I just wear the first holes and the one at the top, but I know Matt likes them because I told him I was going to take out the top one and he said not to. Although, I know that if we have a daughter someday he would not be the one to take her to get her ears pierced – men are wimps!

  12. I got my ears pierced at 12. It was a big deal of course and I hated having to wait so long, but I don’t think I was brave enough before then. Plus I think my mom was wise in waiting for (for me) because I might have grown bored of cleaning my ears before the age of 12, although the thought of getting “stuck” scares me to DEATH!

    My husband and I haven’t really talked about this topic specifically, but I’m almost positive he’ll say he doesn’t care and that it’s up to me. All the girl stuff is up to me!

  13. I think 8 is a good age. You are old enough to make choices for yourself. I was 8 when I had mine done, and my grandma sent me some peral earings. I thought it was the best gift ever! I had been asking to have my ears pierced for a long time. I was so excited when my mom took me for my birthday. I never wear earings now. I do not even know if my holes are still open.
    I am sure I will address the issue with my girls when they ask… my oldest daughter is 7, and has never even talked about getting a couple of holes in her head. I am sure we will work out a special deal for her to have a goal and work toward it.

  14. We’ve talked about this before, but I will comment nonetheless.

    My parents set the minimum age of 8. But my parents were always slow at getting things done, so I didn’t get them until I was 9.

    I’ve gone through phases of wearing earrings consistently. Right now I’m in a consistent phase, primarily because Eric really likes me to wear earrings.

    I think 8 is a great age. I doubt I’d make my girls wait until they are older. If they don’t want them pierced, that’s fine with me.

    I don’t think Eric cares, to be frank. I’ll have to ask him.

  15. Wow! I think I have gotten my ears pierced. . . mmm like three or four times. I wear the studs for about four days, decide I look ridiculous with earrings, take out the studs and let the holes close up. The last time I did this though I don’t think the holes closed up all the way.

    I don’t own any earrings.

    Blaine begs me to start wearing them, he thinks that earrings are awesome.

    So one day last year I went out and bought a pair of earrings and forced them through my half shut earring holes. This day happened to be the day we got our Christmas card picture taken. I looked ridiculous.

    Blaine and I have never discussed this or makeup or anything. I don’t think he really cares, but just in case I am going to ask. . .

    He said “umm, I don’t know maybe 12 or younger, as long as they knew what they were doing”.

    So there you have it.

  16. I was supposed to wait until I was 14, but I was somehow able to convince my mom to let me get my ears pierced when I was seven. I love wearing earrings and see nothing wrong with one set of piercings in the ears.

    I’m with the majority opinion in not liking babies with pierced ears. I think I was a little young too. I think I’ll probably make my daughters wait until they’re 10 or 12.

    PS I made the chocolate banana cake last night. I couldn’t find the cinnamon chips even here in Hershey (must be a seasonal item), but I used caramel chocolate chips and it turned out fabulously! Tnanks for a great new recipe.

  17. I love the idea of earning the piercing, too. I had to wait until I was twelve, but I think that’s rather arbitrary if you’re a kid trying to understand the reasoning behind things. And Jared–his ear was pierced for a while, so I don’t think he has anything to say about our daughters’ ears. 🙂

  18. My ears are pierced but I almost never wear earrings. I feel like I look like I’m getting ready for prom whenever I wear earrings, whether they’re fancy ones or not. I put in a pair every couple months to keep the holes open, but otherwise, I’m not real big on them.

    Since this one’s a boy, the subject of our girls piercing their ears hasn’t come up..that could get interesting. I’ll have to ask Aaron!

  19. Hmmm. I dunno what Bawb thinks about it. I, however, am strongly in favor of pierced ears. Clip-on earrings give me a headache. Plus it seems like you’d lose them easier if you went dancing.

    And you can call it my white-trash heritage if you wish, but I plan to pierce my baby girls’ ears. I think it’s cute.

    (Gretchen, I do think it’s funny that you’ve noted it as being an non-caucasian thing. I never noticed that before. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a small, very rural town?)

    And I just checked with Bawb, and he’s entirely okay with my barbarous plans. : ) [shrugs] Yes, I’m forcing a decision on my daughters, but it’s a basically harmless one, and if they hate it, they can let them grow in. Basically, I’m counting on my daughters being a lot like me–I love my pierced ears, but I’m such a coward, I probably wouldn’t have them if my mom hadn’t gotten them done when I was a baby.

  20. I got my “holes in my head” when I was 12. I picked out my birthstone, Peridot, for my earing of choice. Three weeks later, I pulled them out and replaced them with a “much prettier” set of earings. I thought my mom wouldn’t notice. The next day I woke up and there was no earing in my right ear. I started to freak and figured it had fallen out in bed. It hadn’t. I felt behind my ear and the back was still there. The head to this stud was tiny and had somehow gotten pushed back into my ear and over night my skin had healed up over the front of the earring. (I’ve always been a quick healer.) So my plan for my mom not to notice this change was thwarted. She rushed me to the doctor where he announced “we must prepare for minor surgery to get my earing out”. I think he did that to freak me out. Well, it worked and I didn’t wear earings again till I was 24.

    So based on my daughter’s maturity and making sure their studs wil be present for the full six weeks will determine when they get their ears pierced.

    Sorry, that was kinda long. 🙁

  21. I did grow up in California, both the LA area and the San Francisco bay area, so there was a lot more minority representation. But I might just be nuts…

  22. My mom does not have her ears pierced and never intends to, so I was told I couldn’t get mine pierced until I moved out of the house! When I was eleven, my dad gave me a little box full of earrings for pierced ears as a Christmas gift (I don’t think my mom approved) and said that I could get them done. I waited until I turned 12 in March to get them pierced. I remember being really excited to finally be able to change the earrings but when the time actually came, it was really gross for me to think that the post went through my earlobe. It is still gross to me if I think about it much.
    Aaron and I have never talked about when our girls can have their ears pierced (if we even have girls….he would be happy with all boys). His mom had hers pierced the year that he and I were engaged and he doesn’t have any sisters.
    What a great idea to earn those pierced ears (just one set, though!) I agree with those who have said the kid should be older so she can take care of her ears herself. And I don’t think infants should have theirs done (even though Bethany has a valid point!). I know there are a lot of parents who get their daughter’s ears pierced as an infant and I am so glad that many pediatric offices now offer this service to ensure it is done correctly.

  23. Whao so many comments. It is a cultural thing I’ve learned. I up until my informative years thought it was absolutely natural to pierce a baby ears ( as in circumcison with boys).
    Some people in the American culture do not pierce their ears until they are much older. It’s just interesting to read how many people are offended by other cultures. I think the difference in views are interesting and we can learn quite a lot from it.

  24. I love having pierced ears. I had them done when I was about 30 – twenty some years ago.

    My daughter’s ears were pierced when she was in 1st or 2nd grade. No matter how careful we were, they still became infected. We waited a couple of years and with the doctor’s blessing had them done again. She’s 21 and still wears different earrings every day.

    My advice is to use your own judgement on how mature and responsible your child is along with your own feelings, religious, and/or moral beliefs.

  25. Bronwen, Megan, Ashley, and I (Bart’s sisters) all have our ears pierced.

    My Mom said I couldn’t have them pierced until I was twelve, but I begged and begged and she let me get them pierced in first or second grade. I had a second set of holes pierced at some point in high school, but let them close up when they became infected.

    Bron had multiple holes on both ears and a nose ring in high school, she pierced several of them,
    including the nose ring, herself. Currently I only ever notice one set in her ears.

    Meg had multiple holes as well, but now I think she only uses one set.

    Ashley had her tongue pierced for a time. I thought that just looked painful. I haven’t seen her in awhile, so I don’t know her current status.

    Anyway, that is the history of Bart’s sisters piercing as far as I know it.

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