Earring Trauma

So we should have done it months and months ago and we didn’t. Naturally, we weren’t in any hurry to cause our girls an immense degree of pain. They say it’s easier to have it done when kids are very young and it hurts them less, but I don’t know about that – pain is pain at any age, I think.

Anyway, after putting it off as long as we could, we finally pushed ourselves out of the house this morning to take the twins to a jeweller’s shop and get their ears pierced. For those of my readers who are not Indian, I should explain that in India, ear-piercing happens to about 99.36 % of all girl children above the age of 3 months. Or maybe even below that age. And it happens to some of the boy babies as well. My parents never had it done to my sister and me, so we went without earrings till the ripe old age of 20+ or so. And, when I did get it done just before my wedding, I have to say, it hurt like hell. Like bloody hell, in fact.

But, while I do clearly remember the pain, I also remember the problem of not being able to wear earrings when every other girl in school had them, and you even sometimes got them as gifts because somebody’s parents couldn’t believe that you hadn’t had your ears pierced. We did get a few clip-on earrings, but there was very little variety, they looked big and clumsy, they hurt the ear lobes, and people only laughed at you for wearing them, even more than they did for not having pierced ears in the first place.

So, I thought I’d rather put my girls through a one-time trauma of getting their ears pierced, rather than have them miss out on the many delights of earrings till they grew old enough and brave enough to demand the ear piercing. Naturally, I expected them to cry – who wouldn’t? So I didn’t have the courage to attempt this on my own without Amit standing by to lend moral support. In the event, though, he lent his support mainly as a cameraman and videographed the whole thing on his cellphone. I should destroy that video before the kdis grow up and get to see it.

Anyway, we got it done, and of course they cried and howled and wailed. I’m not sure that we managed to align the dots symmetrically on Mrini, we kept getting it wrong till she lost patience, and we turned our attention to Tara. On Tara, we made the dots quickly and easily and proceeded to get her shot by the ear-piercing gun (it’s not really a gun, don’t worry). Once Tara was done and howling, Mrini began to guess that something not-nice was in store for her and began some pre-emptive wailing, which didn’t make things any easier.

It took them maybe 20 minutes afterwards to properly stop crying. By then I had got them into a toy store (clever mom, aren’t I?) where Amit distracted them with the stuff on the shelves, while I bought some essentials and some bribes. We rounded off the outing with a lunch, and by then they were all smiles again, though Tara spent a good part of the meal eyeing herself in the mirror and pointing to her ears and saying “earring”.

Which was all very well for them, but it took me another couple of hours to recover from the trauma and stop shaking.


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