Should the decision be a parent’s privilege or a child’s choice?
Upon meeting her five-month-old granddaughter for the first time, my mother-in-law remarked, “Why doesn’t she have her ears pierced?” Her question was raised in a slightly accusatory tone, suggesting that I’d done my newborn daughter a disservice by not piercing her ears immediately after birth. Her follow-up comment, something to the effect of, “but, of course, you’ll do it soon, so she’ll look like a girl,” left me with no choice but to raise my battle arms. After a heated discussion about the pros and cons of ear piercing for infants, and a patient explanation (I thought) of why our daughter wouldn’t wear earrings until she was old enough to make the decision for herself, I let the topic rest. Unfortunately, babička didn’t, raising the topic repeatedly during her month-long visit with us in the US.