An ear piercing adventure

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With the summer holidays having got underway, it would seem children across the land are getting their ears’ pierced. The long, six-week break allows enough time for the piercings to heal before they return to school with uniform-compliant studs or earrings.

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I found myself visiting a piercing parlour on behalf of my daughter and I felt very weird about it.

Helen, our eldest daughter, is among them. We had previously said she would need to be 10 years of age but had a change of heart and said she could have it done after she had hit the big zero-nine, which she did some time ago.

Helen is far from alone. Some of her friends have already got pierced ears and I know for a fact that several others have either had it done over the past few days since breaking up from school or are about to get their ears’ pierced.

I don’t mind admitting that I’m not entirely comfortable about it. Firstly, there’s the age thing. In an ideal world, I’d have liked her age to be in double digits before medical-grade titanium was thrust through her ear lobe.

Secondly, I’m her father. As daft as it sounds, I’m supposed to protect her from harm and things that may hurt.

Yet there I was yesterday, with both my kids in a tattoo and piercing parlour, signing a consent form saying she could have a piercing. She was lying on a dentist’s-style chair and looking a little nervous as the piercer prepared for the big moment.

Simply getting to the piercing place had been an adventure. I was adamant that if Helen was getting her ears pierced, it was going to be done properly and not by an inexperienced hairdresser who did piercings as a sideline.

The one place I had in mind was a bit….alternative. The website suggested this establishment wouldn’t do piercings on anyone under the age of 14 so I rang up to confirm this. The conversation I had was just that; alternative. I asked a question and they got the answer completely wrong, twice, so I moved on to find someone else who I might trust to do the piercing.

I ended up having a chat with someone called Tony. His son did the piercings, but Tony knew about biology. He wasn’t particularly alternative and he clearly wasn’t a hair stylist piercing ears on the sly to pay for a summer break in Magaluf. No, this guy knew his stuff.

Less than an hour later we were in his studio and it was a strange experience. I’m not in the habit of taking my kids to tattoo and piercing places, although it happened once before when Izzy needed the lavatory. A tattoo and piercing place just happened to have the closest facility to hand and was kind enough to let me in with the kids.

For only the second time in my life, I found myself in such a venue with both my kids. We were whisked straight into the piercing room and the guy said he’d pierced about 100 ears in the previous four days. Further proof, as if any were needed, that this is a popular time for kids to get their ears’ pierced.

The process was over very quickly. Helen said it hurt a little but there were no tears.

Looking at her afterwards was quite something else. You know that scene from Friends when Ross and Rachel’s baby has its ears pierced by the crazy aunt and Ross can’t quite figure out why his child looks so different? It was a little like that.

It was also odd to reflect on the experience. I’ve taken both my kids for inoculations and unpleasant but ultimately necessary medical appointments.

These things sometimes hurt and your kid cries, but you know there’s a reason for doing it. Here I was, agreeing for my child to have her ears pierced because she thought it would look pretty. It wasn’t quite the same thing!

I may as well get used to it. Having seen her older sister have her ears pierced, Izzy has made clear she wants it done too.

She’ll get her wish, but not for a few years yet. Having been the one to oversee Helen’s big moment, I may insist Mrs Adams does the next trip to the piercing studio.

Have you been through the whole ear piercing thing? If so, how did you choose a piercer? Did you feel awkward about doing it? Please leave a comment below, I’d love to know if other people had conflicting emotions like me.


8 thoughts on “An ear piercing adventure”

  1. Goodness our eldest is 8 and I thought I had got away with kicking this into the long grass – however her friends are getting them done left, right and centre so I think it is only a matter of time….anyway I need to get mine done first to tick it off on my mid life crisis list 😉

    1. Having just read your mid-life crisis post, I thought you were getting a tattoo?? Good luck keeping this in the long grass Tom, I think you may struggle!

  2. Hi, I didn’t get my ears pierced til in my 30’s went to Debenhams.. no problems or pain ( just a crunching sound) whenever I smell the cleaning fluid it reminds me.. my daughter however (12ish) had hers done without me being present or knowing about it aka by a friend! Ouch! I hadn’t said she wasn’t to do it; but my then husband banned it ..so she rebelled as you do! But no problems either! She later had a nose stud but in a proper piercing place! Went for years not wearing any of them, has just started to occasionally wear earrings again… not sure if the holes had closed up or if/how she opened them.. shes in her 30’s now. I wear earrings every day but always take them out at night especially if cheap ones ( i.e not silver/gold)..so as no reaction. Counted my stock once but got bored at 150 pairs.!! #earringhorder 🙂

    1. Ah ha! Now then Jan, this is part of the reason I was okay with her getting hear ears pierced. Yes, a little younger than I hope but rather that and stay in control of the situation than find she and her friends have donw it with a needle and cork as kids I knew at school did.

  3. Man! In the days of old my dad would have cringed if ever he heard of me going into a tattoo parlour. My sisters were of course allowed to get ear piercings later on in their teenage hood, but it was them and their friends taking them there. I’m glad you managed to catch some adventure. I can’t imagine how strange that must have felt. But yes to being a supportive dad!

    1. It was one of the more surreal moments of fatherhood, I’ll tell you that! As my wife is the one who works full time, I generally get the pleasures of doing this kind of thing.

  4. My daughter is getting hers done the summer she is 11. Traditionally the summer before comprehensive school, although as we home educate, it’s not rewly relevant but when she was little it was the bench mark we set and she is holding us to it ????

    I had mine done that summer although I was a year older.I’m. Glad to see you weren’t to a tattoo studio. As one with plenty of tattoos and piercings, I originally had my ears done several times with a gun and even my nose! I’m horrified to think that but as you say.back in the day, a Tattoo studio was not for the likes of me!

    But I will only be going to a piercing and tattoo studio for my daughter. If my sons want their ears piercing I guess I will do it when they are eleven too.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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