We started thinking that it would be fine if Baby Chickadee got her ears pierced

The most important thing to Baby Chickadee when she meets you is first: do you have a baby in your tummy? And sadly for Baby Chickadee, we are going through a dry spell in our lives with friends who are pregnant. The second most important fact about you she will quickly determine is: are your ears pierced? This is especially important to her if you’re a kid, which you probably aren’t, because I know this column is not a must-read among the elementary crowd. But if you WERE a kid with your ears pierced, there would be much discussion about you. Just to warn you.
At G’s baseball games, at Little Missy’s volleyball games, at the grocery store and at the park, the first thing Baby Chickadee notices about the girls around her is whether earrings sparkle on their lobes. After finding a set of lobes around us that are pierced there is always the dialogue with me, “That baby has her ears pierced! And she is not even five!” Or, “Mommy, that girls ears are pierced. She must be five already!”
Because in our house we told our youngest that she could get her ears pierced when, you guessed it, she turned five. Five being an almost totally arbitrary age. Hubby and I just happened to pick it because that’s when Little Missy got her ears pierced, and she only got them pierced at that age because that’s when she begged for them. Prior to that the arbitrary age had been eight because that’s when I’d gotten them pierced as a kid.
Though that Baby Chickadee only has a year until she turns five and five is a totally acceptable age for the piercing of the ears, I felt so bad for that sweet girl. “Pleeeeeaaaaase can I get my ears pierced?” Every day with the sweet voice and tilted head and big ol’ eyes.
And Hubby and I are weak, WEAK, I tell you. We started thinking that it would be fine if Baby Chickadee got her ears pierced as long as Little Missy was okay with it. So I pulled Little Missy aside last week and asked if she’d mind if her sister got her ears pierced earlier in life than she did or if it’d be the cause of long-lasting frustration that her sister got her ears pierced at four when she’d had to wait until five and that is not fair! Little Missy was totally down with it, she just looked at me with her serious face and big eyes. “Just warn her that it will hurt. REALLY BAD.”
So Hubby and I told Baby Chickadee that she could get her ears pierced. For a minute her brain could not compute the new information. Then a half-believing smile spread on her face. “I can get my ears pierced? Even though I’m not five?!”
Earlier this week G, Little Missy and I made the trek to the mall to get the deed did. As we walked in, G softly punched his youngest sister on the arm and said, “Mom, you know how when I punch Baby Chickadee like this she cries really loud? Well when she gets her ears pierced it is going to be BAD.” The confidence-building brother and the squeamish sister waited across the mall for Baby Chickadee’s piercing to be over.
But that girl did great. Where there is determination there is no crying.
And now! Now she does not care if you have your ears pierced. Now she will holler after you, even if you do not know her but have happened to make eye contact with her, “I have my ears pierced!” So be ready to smile and nod at my kid who’s sharing her latest news with you.

Erin Fox is a busy wife and mother of three.  She is a weekly columnist for the Times- Gazette.