Defending the Ears.

So Doris wanted her ears pierced. She actually wanted me to pierce her ears so she bought the home piercer things.
I’m all for inflicting pain on the kids so I agreed to do it. So I did this willfully and with knowledge aforethought that pierced ears are a hanging offence in the public schools. So we took out the shiney pika pika studs and put in some transparent ones instead.
Well it came as no surprise that I received a call from the school to inform me that Doris was in school with illegally pierced ears.
Basically the teacher said that pierced ears are against school rules and that she has to consider ‘those around her’.
By ‘consider those around her’ I am guessing she means, suddenly everyone will want pierced ears, because until they saw Doris’ ears they’d never heard of this barbaric and archaic practice and now Doris is running around the school promoting her crazy gaijin customs.
So, on the topic of ‘those around’ I played the ‘utter hogwash’card. On the actual piercings I defended her right to have holes in her ears. I said if the school has a rules against accessories, ( which of course it does, can’t even wear a watch), I could and would respect that, no earrings at school, but I said that the school does not have juristiction over Doris’ ears, they cannot have a rule against the holes. We have custody of Doris’ ears evenings and weekends and if we want those ears holey on our time then we’ll have those ears holey.
She then went onto imply that I am not really reacting to teacher demands the way described in the ‘how to be a Japanese mother’ manual. She cited a previous offense where, at a parent teacher meeting she had said that Doris was not always wearing her school uniform in the manner intended, i.e. she was rolling her skirt at the waistband rendering it shorter than it’s orginal ‘court of Queen Victoria’ length, her tie too, is not always tightly and neatly throttling her. My response to this was that she take that up with Doris herself, that Doris knows the rules of uniform, and how she wears it at school comes under school domain, nothing to do with me.
I mean even if I cared enough to say something she is just going to roll her skirt and loosen her tie the minute she walks out the door, at least this way I know what she looks like when she leaves the house.
Conversation ended with me saying Doris wouldn’t wear any earrings in school but the holes would remain and her saying she had to speak to all the other teachers about the matter. Thank you for your call and goodbye.
So then Doris came home and we had a chat.
See I don’t think I should teach the kids to break rules that they don’t like or don’t agree with, but I don’t think the school has the right to say what she can and can’t do with her ears and Doris gets that and there are dozens of petty stupid rules she abides by. For example they are not allowed to go into a convenience store in their uniforms. Not their school uniform or their sports uniform. So say on a Saturday, when she has been at softball since 6a.m. playing her heart out, helping the team, and thus the school, win gold cups, then take the train home at 6pm, should she find herself with a raging thirst or heaven forbid a craving for chocolate or a sandwich, she is not allowed to pop into the local Conbini and buy herself something. Stupid stupid stupid rule yes, but she abides by it, because it’s a rule, written in the school constitution in the blood of those who broke rules before her, at the dawn of time.
We continued our chit chat about the issues at hand here and she told me that the softball coach wasn’t angry with her but she said,
‘ if your mother is treating you like an adult, you should be very careful’ !! What??? now I like this woman, like her a lot, she has been great to Doris but I don’t equate letting a 14 yr old make the decision to pierce her ears with treating her like an adult.
To me ear piercing is not so different from getting a radical hair cut, if you regret it, it’s reversible. It’s not like the whole pot-heroin argument where one supposedly leads to another, I don’t think piercing is leading her down a road to juvenile delinquency.
Look at me, I had my ears done when I was 5 and it didn’t lead me astray. Okay okay, don’t look at me, I did wander a little astray but it had nothing to do with the ears, ( or the pot).
The way I see it is that I want Doris to make her own decisions in life, and to learn how to do that well, she needs to practice, I need to let her practice making decisions on her own while they are still relatively small decisions, where she can see the consequences of them and hopefully by the time the big, really important shit comes around she’ll be confident in her decision making process to make good decisions.
Now fortunately the softball coach is also the English teacher, so won’t she be delighted to get the 5 pages of foolscap with my thoughts on the subject, all written in my very best joined up hand-writing.

11 thoughts on “Defending the Ears.

  1. i have sort of a reverse thing going on here; ever since shalini was born people have been saying she needs her ears pierced (here they do it at between six months and a year – let’s get gender straight right away, folks). i feel a gal should at least be able to decide or not.

  2. Can you find me one of those ‘how to be a Japanese mother’ handbooks? I want to ritually burn it.

    So we are still doing the daily earrings-in/earrings-out business. Amy gets away with the clear studs, mainly because she hides it under her enormous mane of ghostly black hair. Lena takes hers out every morning and is learning to get them back in herself, after a few rough re-piercings by me. She didn’t realize when she signed on to this that she would basically be having her ears pierced EVERY DAY, but she’s soldiering on! She really wants those holes!

  3. Rei wants hers done. H says she can when she’s 18. I’m thinking of doing it at the start of summer vacation so they have time to heal and just not tell him.

  4. @Takajj. Your girls are in elem school right?? I should point out that both my sons have a hole each and they don’t have a problem with them at elem school if they wear the tomei ones and they take them out for taiku.
    @Ditoh, well M was against it but the boys opted to ahve theirs done in the heat fo the moment when we were in Canada and then D did her’s herself, so it only left Ru, so I wasn’t going to say no, I also advised her to wait till the hols but because of bukatsu there isn’t any damn hols!! So I’m in full agreement of your summer vacay idea. xx

  5. I’m with you. I wish you were my mum. Not that I ever wanted ears pierced or anything but I like your style. Wouldn’t surprise if the school announces a rule against piercing itself. Those earholes will be banned! Then of course no kid will be allowed to ever have an injection…

  6. You’re a gal after my own heart! My two teens are too chicken to get their ears pirced but ec=ven if they did they could and the school would only be interested in making sure they had regulation earrings (studs)….hair colour however is another issue. They aren’t allowed to colour their hair unless it is a natural colour….but with one kid allergic to dye it won’t be a problem for me!
    I approve wholeheartedly of your style tho’, and the very sound reasoning behind it!

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