We decided to let her get her ears pierced for her birthday. I was way more nervous about this than she was. I was not keen on taking her to the mall and letting some 16 year old do it. I got online to search for "best place to get ears pierced" and lots of people were recommending tattoo/piercing parlors because they are licensed, regulated, sterile and all that.
1) strong objections from Pinkerbelle who did not want to go to a tattoo place (ask her again in another 8 years)
2) a "what's wrong with the mall?" from Craig, the health and safety expert, and
3) emailing a tattooed friend of ours who said the place he goes is "no place for kids"
we went to Claire's.
Betsy, the assistant manager, appeared to be older than 16 (barely), and accustomed to nervous parents. She walked me through the procedure and assured me that she wore gloves, sanitized the work area, and that the earrings are sealed in a package until they are fitted into the piercing apparatus and are never touched by human hands.
She was meticulous about getting the dots even.
I seem to remember when I got my ears pierced
Pinkerbelle didn't even flinch; after a pause, she said "ouch" in a deadpan voice.
For the second ear, she had a curious (and slightly freaked out) audience in the mall.
P. was a trooper. Apparently it was practically painless, and she's done a good job of cleaning her ears with the solution they gave her. My baby isn't much of a baby anymore (sigh!).
But I told her no dangly earrings until she's a teenager.