“But Moooooooooom, everyone else gets to!” Ah, nothing is as delightful as the sweet voice of your little angel as she whines about your parenting decisions. Wait, nope, absolutely nothing is delightful about that. According to my six year old, I “just don’t understand what it’s like” to be a kindergartner these days. Apparently the world of juice boxes and nap times is simply unbearable and as an obviously old and ancient mommy, there is no way I can possible understand the trials and tribulations in the world of a six year old little girl. Give me a break. Prinny has decided that she “needs” to get her ears pierced and I have decided that she “needs” to get over it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter more than the air that I breathe but this drama queen, all about me, self-centered attitude has got to go. Maybe it’s just her being a typical six year old girl. Maybe it’s the influence of her friends. Or maybe she’s just the spittin’ image of her momma. Who knows. But whatever the reason is, I’ve had enough.
The “Great Earring Debate of 2012″, as I’m sure it will be called in her memoirs, started around Christmas. Prinny and her best friend decided that they both wanted to get their ears pierced. My theory on ear piercing has always been that we wouldn’t do it until she was old enough to ask. And then I would still say no. I understand that parents pierce babies ears all the time and I respect their decision but it wasn’t happenin’ in this house. That’s my rule and dang it, I’m sticking to it. I called Prinny’s best friend’s mother, a woman I consider to be a near and dear friend, and we both decided that our girls would not be getting their ears pierced any time soon; age 10 at the earliest and somewhere in their 30’s at the latest. Once the other mother and I presented a united front, Prinny and her little friend seemed to drop the issue and our house was drama free for the briefest of moments. But then the tides changed. That near and dear friend turned into a traitorous woman who, in my somewhat biased opinion, made a conscious effort to make my life a living hell when she summarily went and took her child to get her ears pierced. Traitorous I tell you. So now, all I hear is “But Moooooooooooom, everyone else has their ears pierced but me!” She even went so far as to proclaim “Obviously you don’t want me to have any friends!” and my personal favorite, the ever popular, “You’re ruining my life!” From my SIX year old. Well isn’t that just lovely? After we had a Come to Jesus Meeting about to and how not to talk to your mommy, the one who feds you, bathes you, clothes you and will take that door off it’s hinges if it’s ever slammed again, the snobby sixteen year old that had temporarily taken over my child left her body and my sweet angel returned. I stress “temporarily.” The days and weeks that have followed have been filled with a constant barrage of questioning and I swear the child has come up with a million different ways to ask the same question. But at the end of the day, I’m not budging on this. Initially, I refused to allow her to get her ears pierced because I thought she was simply too young. If I let her get her ears pierced now, what will she pierce at 16? Lord only knows and I assure you, I don’t want to. But the longer she begged and pleaded, quite frankly, it started to tick me off. Last time I checked, I was the mommy and she was the child and what I say goes. End of story. But I look around and the line between parents making decisions and their kids making decisions is becoming increasingly blurry and I have to ask, who’s parenting who?
A few weeks ago, my precious drama queen turned six years old. We had her birthday party at the house and all of her little friends from school came. The girls were laughing and running around, playing Barbie and a hilarious game of Twister when the last little girl arrived. She walked in the door carrying an iPhone. To a six year old birthday party. I have several issues with this. First off, I don’t even have an iPhone. Secondly, you’re at a birthday party with all of your friends and your mom, who are you going to call? And lastly, she’s six for crying out loud. Does she really need a cell phone? Later in the afternoon the girls were running off their sugar high and the moms were sitting around trading war stories. (Yes, war. A six year old girl can be a very fierce opponent.) I asked the other moms what their theories were on kids having expensive gadgets. The mom of the little girl who had the phone piped up and went on for at least 10 minutes naming off all of the latest technology in her daughter’s possession. Not only does the child have an iPhone but she has an iPod, an iPod Touch, an iPad and then when that’s still not enough, the mother downloads more apps for the child on her own phone. When I asked why in the world her daughter had all of these things, the mother shrugged and said “Because she wanted them.” That’s 100% her prerogative but…I mean, come on, really? Maybe I’m going out on a limb here but what happened to playing in the backyard? Or playing a board game as a family? I understand that in this day and age our kids need to be technology savvy but I don’t think my six year old needs to know how to text. I just don’t. And she certainly won’t be getting thousands of dollars worth of Apple products simply because she asked. If I start lavishing her with these types of things at six years old, what is she going to expect when she’s 16?
I’m sure this battle over getting her ears pierced will be the first of many to come. She’s going to want to keep up with her friends and do the same things and have the same opportunities that they are. As a mother, I know that it is important for her to fit in but I also know that I don’t want to instill a “keeping up with the Jones’” mentality in my six year old. While the issue of getting her ears pierced may seem minuet to some, I feel as if I’m setting the stage for the rest of our relationship. She won’t be getting a brand new car at sixteen, and if and when she does get a vehicle, she’ll have a job and help make the payments. And if I have to hear “But Moooooooooom everyone else gets to!” so my child doesn’t end up with a false sense of entitlement and skewed version of reality then I’ll gladly hear that everyday for the rest of my life. The way I see it, I’m not being a mean mommy, I’m being a good mommy. Hopefully when she grows up she’ll see it that way too.0