My oldest daughter recently had a birthday. I thought I would blog about all the prep that goes into a birthday party, all the unnecessary crap we think we have to do for one, and how to decide which kids to invite. (I learned my lesson when she turned four and inivted everyone she wanted to come. We had 16 little 4-year-old princesses running around my basement, and I am NEVER doing that again). Anyway, we do parties every other year (on their "even" birthdays, because, well, I am not that motivated to do this constantly, and, also, birthday parties are WAY more expensive than they look.) But even though you think you're reading a post about birthday parties, it's just a myth. Switch gears to the gift of gifts: Earrings. Pierced earrings. My daughters do not have pierced ears. They are six and four. Once again, the cry of "When can we pierce our ears?" was heard throughout the house. I have always told my kids that they can pierce their ears when they are twelve years old. They have always accepted this. There has been grumbling, but acceptance. After all, twelve is the "golden age" - the age where you can ride in the front seat, because, magically, airbags know when you are twelve and stop being deadly, the age when you are old enough to babysit, (5 is NOT old enough, contrary to what my oldest will tell you)and the age where Primary is officially a memory. (Not that they're looking forward to that one. They love Primary). But then, nobody has ever given them heart-shaped earrings with flowers painted on them before. It would be a crime not to wear them. *insert whiny voice here* "WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY do we have to be twelve?????" Why indeed? I asked myself this question, and truly, the major reason I could come up with was, "Because that's how old I had to be. Suffer like I did." Of course, I didn't tell my kids this. I told them it was because of infections, and caring for the ears, etc. But mostly, it was the rule, and that was that. They grumbled, but are prepared to SAVE these earrings for the next 6-8 years, for when they are old enough to wear them. And if you think that'll happen, well, then, you've never had kids. By the way, the woman who gave us the earrings was mortified that our girls did not have pierced ears. She felt awful. She pierced her daughter's ears when her daughter was but a wee lass, and thought everyone did the same. Never mind that my girls were incredibly happy to see the earrings, it did not make her feel better. Is there a right answer here? What is the appropriate age in which to put holes in earlobes? Am I being too strict in reliving my mother's old rule? The way I see it, I have a hard enough time keeping track of my own earrings, I don't want to have to try to find theirs constantly, as well. And I can just see the future meltdowns when the correct earrings aren't found for the correct outfit. Or, horror of horrors, when just one is found. Why add that stress into my life? But maybe, it will help teach them responsibility for their things, or proper ear hygiene, or something like that. Or, maybe I know nothing.