So, dear readers, you do remember where I told you about getting the girls’ ears pierced, don’t you?
I also mentioned in passing (in response to a comment, actually) how that very night Mrini’s earring popped out while we were getting her dressed for the night. I stuck it right back in, but it took some determination (and some help from Amit in the shape of sheer muscle power required to hold down the hapless victim of my not-so-tender ministrations).
Then, when we were in Binsar, I decided it was high time I changed the surgical metal ear studs for a decent pair of gold rings. Amit’s family friends had presented the twins with a pair each. Given how clumsy, inept, and generally butter-fingered I am, it was probably the biggest blunder I could have made. I managed to take out one of Tara’s studs while she was asleep, and I stuck the new ring in place, but she woke up before I could properly manage to close it. For a week or so, whenever she came within striking distance, I tended to grab her and fiddle with her ear, trying to properly fix the gold earring in place. Finally, after we had gone back to Delhi, one morning, I managed to get the truant earring out and replaced it with the old surgical metal stud.
Then there was peace.
For a while.
A week or so ago, Tara managed to snag her earring on something at home and out it came. Again, I grabbed her and brutally shoved it back in, turning a completely deaf ear to her howls of protest. Luckily, I accomplished the mission without too much clumsiness.
But in all of this, “earring” became a terribly dirty word for both girls. I don’t think they have forgotten the trauma of getting their ears pierced, and the repeated assaults on their ears have not helped. They love to watch me change my earrings (on the rare occasions that I do so) and they don’t mind fiddling with their own earrings, but they won’t allow me anywhere near their earrings, not even when they are asleep.
So it was something of a surprise when Tara came to me on Sunday morning and said, “Mama, where earring?” I pointed to my earring, but she said, “Mama, where my earring?” So then I gently touched her right earring, and she said, “Mama, where my other earring?” I gently touched her left earring, and the back of it came off in my hand. There was no left earring; at least, not where it should be.
Naturally, I asked her what had happened to her earring. She blamed it on her stuffed toy panda, who looked at her mutely and innocently. Both girls helped me look around the house for the errant stud, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Oh well, this was as good an excuse as any to try and get the still un-used gold rings into her ears.
But I had not magically become any less clumsy and inept since the Binsar days. When Amit tried holding her down and I stuck the ring in her ear, a quantity of blood quickly oozed out and – though I’m not especially squeamish about the sight of blood – it didn’t seem to make it any easier to get the fiddly bits of the earring to work the way they were supposed to. I tried again, when she was ostensibly asleep in the afternoon, but she only woke up, swatted my hand away, said “Go!” in a petulant manner and turned over.
Sup33 turned out to be my saviour. When I met her at the park that evening and explained the state of affairs to her, she volunteered to come home (with p in tow) and fix the new earrings on both girls. I’m not sure she knew quite what she was getting in to, but that didn’t stop me from accepting the offer with alacrity. Fifteen minutes later, with Tara screaming blue murder and the blood running thicker than water (sorry, wrong metaphor, but who can be bothered with metaphors at a time like that?), it was too late for her to change her mind.
I have to say that Sup33 has fingers that are as ept and butterless as mine are inept and buttered. In short order, and copious quantities of blood notwithstanding, she had four gold rings dangling from four separate ears, and no broken bones or even – as far as I know – broken fingernails. Of course, we had three screaming kids on our hands by then – p having decided that there must be something worth screaming about – but that was a small price to pay (and, what’s more, largely inevitable, if you discount the difference between two howling kids and three).
So now, is the earring saga finally at an end? I hope so… but I can’t count on it. Surely it’s only a matter of time before they do something drastic and we have to cross the bridge yet again.