During my time, babies go home from the hospital with their ears already pierced. I am not sure if this was a Filipino tradition or it was just my own family’s tradition. But I know that when my sisters and I came home from the hospital, we had panahi (thread) soaked in mercurochrome already looped through the ear piercing (butas ng tenga).
I remember my very first arilyos (earring). It was a turquoise blue stone that had a hinged-snap back. I wore it everyday and every night, and never took it off. They were only replaced when I outgrew them, I think, and my mom gave me something that my grandmother had given her.
Well, keeping with that family tradition, I made sure that my daughter had her ears pierced as soon as it was possible. I found a pediatrician who does ear piercing (a very enterprising Filipina doctor who understood the culture and tradition).
Last Thursday, we had an earring problem that ended in the injury clinic the very next day. The pearl in my daughter’s earring fell. She tried to remove the earring, but she accidentally pulled it in instead. Yiiikes! The earring got stuck in her earlobe.
We tried to numb the area with ice. That didn’t work. My husband suggested that we take it off when she was asleep, that didn’t work either. So off to the doctor the next day.
I couldn’t go with them, but I gave my husband instructions–crazy-only-mommy-can-think-of-instructions!
- Ask the doctor if he can try to twist the earring out, so there won’t be any incision. What? Can you blame me for not wanting her to have a scar in the earlobe!
- Make sure to put in another earring so the hole won’t close.
Well, as you may have thought, none of my requests were followed. An incision was made, but at the back so the scar won’t be seen! Very smart, I thought! And the doctor said to let the ear heal and just get another ear piercing in 6 months.
My daughter was in good spirits all throughout. No tears, no drama. She knew that it had to be done, and she did it. I have 6 months to look for a hypo-allergenic hinged-snap back so this doesn’t happen again.