Thursday, May 08, 2008

Prince Albert's Libretto

A couple of the mothers in my 'quadrangle' at work have young boys. One is 8, the other is 11, both have pierced ears. One, at 11 years of age, is allowed to wear a rap bling to his first year in high school in the form of a large fake diamond! (he is known by his mates as 'Pimp') the other was asked to remove his earring when he arrived at a new, slightly more respectable Government school recently and subsequently had a teary tantrum about the whole thing. I was shocked that an 8 year old would expect to wear an earring to school! Let alone that their mother's would talk about the injustice of it all!

When ClareBear was about 8, she asked to have her ears pierced. This seemed too young to my mind but many of the Italian children at her school (only the girls) had their ears pierced as infants which is their cultural tradition. Often done on babies prior to their Christening. I made her a deal, that if she still wanted her ears pierced she could do it at 12 years of age and she did. She completed her piercings with a belly button piercing when she was 18 and I think now that's it. My nephew had a librette at 18 but it wore a sore in his gum and began to damage his teeth so he switched to an eybrow bolt and now has a hole in his chin. My Niece has a tiny diamond in her nose, a bolt in her tongue that is forever being 'twiddled' and pierced ears . . .another stopped at the tongue bolt and earrings. Now that seems fair. They're grown ups, they're lightly pierced. At my kids' school, anything other than pierced ears and tiny studs was forbidden. Those who did go further had to hide their piercings under a band aid.

Today, the state government has banned the piercing of genitalia, nipples other non conventional body parts (bolts on the back of the neck and the bridge of the nose are quite popular). . on children under the age of 16 and any other piercings (apart from ears) require parental permission, that's bolts, librettes, noses, necks and belly buttons. How they're going to police it, I'm not sure "Can you show me your clitoris please?" You wouldn't believe where people pierce themselves or maybe I'm justs old fashioned. I wouldn't have thought that too many under 16 year olds would have gone the Prince Albert but there you go! I should warn them about an acquaintance who's sleeper came undone during the 'deed' and caused quite a bit of damage!

I once had the most unfortunate experience of watching a small child who clearly had asked to have his ears pierced, change his mind at the last minute. I'm guessing he was about 6 years old.

I was walking through a Pharmacy in Penrith Mall (out in the not so flash Western Suburbs where I was working at the time). A scruffy looking, overly thin woman with lank greasy hair was standing behind a small boy, with short cropped hair and a rat's tail, perched on an overly tall stool. A hygienic looking Chemist's assistant had a loaded piercing gun with a nice stud ready to go when it became quite obvious that the young man was having second thoughts. Whilst his mother held his arms out 'crucifix' style, the boy began to have a major tantrum. Kicking his legs, flailing his head. Another equally scruffy woman arrived, with two more little snot boxes eating rainbow ice creams and assisted in the restraint. By this time a small crowd was gathering. I whispered to the assistant not to do it - she was hesitant and looked like she might walk away and leave it for another day. Clearly the child had changed his mind and to restrain him was inhuman. I was in my lunch break so marched past the scene with a disparaging mumble "Bloody westies, shouldn't be allowed to breed . . " kind of comment.

Anyway, shopping done and heading back to work . . I passed the same bunch. Boy all happy with a dirty face and tide mark where his tears had cleaned their path down his cheeks and sure enough . . .a nice shiny stud in his tiny ear.

I spent nine months, not smoking, not drinking, eating well, exercising, preparing, preening so that when my little bundles of joy came into the world they were perfect. No holes, no marks . . .even circumcision was never an option . . .how could I do anything to change these perfect pink little leaking-at-both-ends cabbage patch looking lovelies?

Poor little tot . . I felt like confiscating him at the time but then . . he's probably happy now and looking a little like this:


Anonymous said...

I agree and left my boys as perfect ;) They have been told they can do whatever they like when finished Year 12 at school but have spent a good five years drawing 'immature' tattoos. When in high school we pierced ears with giant sewing needles in the playground .... I have seven holes none with earrings from it!

Nick said...

I've never understood piercing apart from ear-piercing, which I had done myself many years ago (but I got bored with earrings after a while). I imagine (maybe wrongly) that piercings in places like the mouth and the genitalia must be quite uncomfortable and tedious to keep clean. But peircing seems to be more and more popular even in the most unlikely places. Ditto tattoos, which I also can't fathom.

It's another of those agonising dilemmas for parents who think the whole thing is crazy but don't want to be too restrictive. Your deal with Clare sounds sensible. The state ban seems appropriate but as you say just how will it be enforced?

Nick said...

Oh btw glad you ruled out circumcision. It's not just a pointless cultural tradition, it's sexual mutilation. All the most sensitive tissue is removed from the tip of the penis in the process. And yes, I was circumcised.

Bimbimbie said...

Hello ... looking in from bird anonymous. Enjoyed reading your post. I'm not a lover of body piercings, other then ears. Can only imagine what the pierced and tattoos are going to look like when their bodies are old ... ugh! perhaps I shouldn't *!*

steph said...

Very entertaining!

I'd love to know why it was called a Prince Albert?

Surely he didn't, did he?

Baino said...

Anony: Quite right, kids should be kids . . they grow up too quickly in my view. Clare's threatened a tattoo during her travels something discreed and meaningful, I hope she doesn't come back like our receptioninst who returned from Thailand with a plethora of butterflies all down her back!

Nick: The problem with men and pierced ears is they look ridiculous on anyone over 30 in my mind. *Grumpy old woman*. And sorry to hear you're not intact but that's just too much information! My mother was a nurse and used to assist in circumcisions . . .put her off for life. Only for religious reasons I say . .

Hello Bimbimbie, I've dropped in on you once or twice as well! Haha . . there will be a whole generation of oldies queueing for the pension wrinkled, pierced and donning blurred tatts in about 20 years!

Steph: I believe he did . . no wonder poor old Vicky mourned for so long!

Paddy Bloggit said...

Only comment I make about earrings in school is that they have to be studs .... for safety reasons.

I do agree that young children with piercings is something that defies common sense to me.

Children, by their nature, climb, jump, run, tussle etc. and piercings aren't going to be their best friends when they get stuck in different things.

Kath Lockett said...

Agree with youse all. Sapph got her ears pierced when she was 8 which I also thought was too young but the rest of the girls in her class were doing it, so like a sheep I caved in. Still, it makes choosing presents a bit easier!

I had a nose stud for about two weeks in my backpacking days and then removed it - it drove me NUTS and my friend's got infected and her nose turned a violent hot red colour and swelled to twice its normal size.

Nuts or bolts of the metallic variety anywhere just sounds painful and dangerous. Dunno how I'd ~ahem~ 'handle' a bloke with a Prince Albert...???

Brianf said...

No comment

Nick said...

Too much information? Sorry about that, didn't mean to embarrass. Actually there was a letter in the London Independent just a few weeks ago saying much the same thing!

Baino said...

Quite so Paddy although why boys need a pierced ear in primary school I dunno. I have seen the damage caused by a sleeper being pulled through the lobe by accident! Not pretty.

Kath ... I don't mind nose studs but you've gotta have a nice nose. They make the school kids wear littl flesh coloured studs which look like pimples! I have pierced ears but can't wear earrings for long before they get sore and itchy. I was standing behind a boy the other day with a bolt in the back of his neck! I have heard of a very nasty accident involving a sleeper and a prince albert piercing but in the interest of good taste, I shall not expand!

Brianf: Your point? (It's rhetorical)

Nick: No worries.I don't embarrass easily!

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Like Nick, I don't get this piercing/tattooing thing at all - but then maybe I'm just old fashioned too - and that's fine, I'll keep it that way. For the most part I simply think, ears aside, that it just looks plain bloody ugly and anarchistic. And if that's the case, I wonder what it says both about the kids and society.

Thriftcriminal said...

Ow. Ow. Ow.

Haven't had any requests from mine yet. I'm guessing as soon as the older cousin starts in on it she'll want to follow suit. Unfortunately her older cousin (by 9 months) is far more interested in things a bit old for her (nothing sinister, but she is 7 and tries to act 10), and gets overly indulged by her mother (and separated father who goes over the top on gifts to piss off the mother). I'm not keen on her influence over my eldest. Actually I'm plain not keen on her. She's sulky and sly. Not her fault, she didn't pick it up off the ground shall we say.

Melissa said...

My eyes were watering and my nose was twitching just reading about all these holes! LOL! I went through my ear-piercing phase (5 in one ear, 1 in the other ... four of which remain empty mostly) but only went that far. My kids don't seem that interested, so far ... they're very young and I'm sure this will change. Once they brought home fake tattoos from their grandmother's house and asked Eli how one got a tattoo. He didn't realize they were talking about the fake kind you stick on with water and that wash off. So he explained the whole needle and ink thing. They turned white and said they didn't want the tattoos their grandmother gave them! :)

Baino said...

AV: I don't mind the piercing bit just the age. A friend at dinner last night told me he'd seen a woman and child with matching tatoos, the child was about 10 years old!

Thrifty: It'll be old hat by the time yours get there. Interesting observation about the separated parent thing. Both of the women I wrote about have separated and spoiling the children or acquiescing to every want has become endemic.

Haha Melissa . . Poor Grandma, I bet they look at her with a sideways glance!

Ryan said...

I would love a Southern Cross tat, but so cliched these days and every man and his dog has one. Poo.

K8 the Gr8 said...

Tongue piercing was a pretty nasty experience, so I wouldn't even dream about thinking about piercings in the netherlands. Aaargh! *crosses legs*

Baino said...

Ryan: the Southern Cross is a bit Bra Boys don't you think? How about a Holden Logo . .

K8: You're brave! Two of my nieces have tongue bolts, I just wish they'd stop playing with them - Yeh I get the nipple twitch and crossed leg syndrome at the thought of piercing either!