When I was about seven years old, my mom let me have my ears pierced. Yes–I swaggered my brave, grade-school self up to the jewelry counter at a nearby JC Penney. I hopped up onto that tall, bar stool-type chair that department store jewelry counters always have. I was all kinds of ready to be a big girl. And then a mean, white haired lady with a nail gun punctured a hole into my flesh with a pretty, bejeweled earring and when she turned her wrinkled, cackling self away from me, I hopped off that chair and fled. I mean, I booked it across the store–faster than even the Goonies running from Sloth’s scary mother. I even hid inside clothing circulars in the women’s department. Then the other shoppers found out there was a renegade seven year old running amok and hunted for me (Hunger Games style–for real. They were serious as a heart attack) and I was outed in short order. My mother dragged me back to that mean lady at the jewelry counter and proceeded to sit on me in order to facilitate my other ear to be pierced. Undignified much? I think Mom did it mostly because she didn’t want me to live the rest of my life resembling the female non-rock equivalent of George Michael (this is 1983 we’re talking about). But to this day I resent her a little for sitting on me back then.
When I was around age 12, my cousin happened to contract tuberculosis. But before you ask, no–we weren’t on the Oregon Trail (now we’re talking 1988 here—not 1888, kids). It’s an actual disease that people still get, yo–are YOUR immunizations up to date? Do you experience a nagging cough or slowing motor function? Just checking. Anyway, my sister and I had to be tested for TB a few times because we were exposed to it. Back then, I had a terrific fear of needles and shots and anything that looked like a needle or a shot. I remember lying on a cot in my pediatrician’s exam room and freaking the FRICK out at the idea of another needle. I clambered off the cot to escape and just as my little feet hit the floor, there was a big “oof” of air exhaling from my body as my dad sat on me. He sat on me, and the nurse came at me with the shot and I wriggled and screamed and cried and pleaded to no avail–I got shot up. The nurse was probably scarred for life. My dad was the jerk here because, you know—he sat on me.
Fast forward twenty years. My 3 year old swears she’s old enough to have her ears pierced. I’m sleep-deprived enough from dealing with newborn twins to believe her. We go to the only ear piercing kiosk in the mall that doesn’t look septic. I recall my own childhood ear piercing experience (at the very same mall) and suggest that the two techs there should pierce both ears simultaneously. They think I’m strange. I think they lack intuition and common sense. The 3 year old figures out fast that something is up. She jumps off the stool. C-section recovery be damned, I risk busting a gut (literally) to place her back on the stool. She jumps off again. It’s like staring into the eyes of Bambi’s mother before she gets offed–yet I have no mercy. I fling her back onto that stool and then I sit on her. Yeah, that’s right—I’m channeling my inner ice queen. “Make it happen, sisters!” I yell. They gun her ears faster than Oprah could sign her name to another cable network. Mission accomplished.
I can’t wait until she’s old enough to blog about the time she sits on her own kid. Circle of life and all. Some family traditions were definitely meant to be passed down. Or sat on.