When Stephanie got her ears pierced, she did so with a fierce certainty that it was what she wanted. She didn't even flinch when the girl at the piercing stand in the mall popped each earring in place. She was so proud we had to stop strangers to show those earrings off (for days afterward). While Ellie wailed and fought and struggled with nightly cleaning, Stephanie was ready and cooperative and accepting of the process. She wanted new earrings to wear and change and show.
Then, we changed her earrings for the first time...and her ears became slightly infected. I learned later that this is to be expected (happens to almost everyone I've asked). As soon as I noticed, we changed them back to the original piercing earrings and upped our cleaning regimen. The infection passed quickly, but it left her reluctant to change her earrings again.
I knew we needed to take her earrings out again for a good clean, and I had prepped her for that for days. She likes to know what to expect. I told her when we would do it. She looked nervous, but didn't object. Last night was the night. The woe was epic. I hadn't anticipated the dread and concern she had worked up in opposition to those earrings coming out again, but she cried for over an hour (well after the deed had been done) and refused to put any earrings back in at all. When I pointed out that her holes would close and she wouldn't be able to change her mind, that we wouldn't let her try again until at least another birthday had passed, she accepted that with teary resignation, admitting,
"I just wanted earrings because Makenna has them. I don't want them for myself."
Such self-awareness in such a young girl knocks me over. It's just how she is. She is such an old soul. It doesn't really surprise me anymore, but it does and she does amaze me, every day.