Taboo Tattoo Tales

I took my five year old to the tattoo place.  (For the record, I did not take her to the tanning bed.)  And before I go much farther, I should back up to the beginning.  After 3 whole months of getting “greens” every day on her behavior chart, we told her she should get her ears pierced.  (It’s something she’s asked about a million times for at least a year.)  I did a little searching online and talking to people who do piercings and people who have piercings and decided that instead of getting it done with a piercing gun at a jewelry store, I’d rather go somewhere that could do it with a cored needle.  (There’s a ton of information out there, but here’s one the more concise pieces I was able to find about piercing gun vs. needle piercing.)

Before we went, I wanted to make sure I knew what I was walking into.  I asked around and talked to several friends who have had tattoos and piercings and decided to go with the place that was most often recommended.  I called ahead to see what, if anything, I needed to bring with me.  The phone conversation went something like this:

Me: Yes, I was calling to see if you did ear piercing for little girls.
Guy: How little?
Me: Five.
Guy:  Oh, yeah sure.
Me: Ok, so what do I need to know about getting it done?
Guy: Well, we have piercing specialists and some of them are real good with kids.
Me: Okay.  So do I need an appointment or how does this work.  I’m not really very tattoo-store-literate.
Guy, laughing:  Here ya go.  You’ll need to bring the kid.  And some kind of ID.  Does she have a social security card or something?
Me:  Well, I have a birth certificate and a social security card and a passport.
Guy: OH!  A passport would be good.  Passports have pictures on um, right?
Me: Um…yes.
Guy: Ok, you’ll need to bring that.  And your ID.  Does she have the same last name as you?
Me: Um…yes.
Guy: Oh, okay.  That doesn’t happen a lot around here.
Me: So I bring my ID and her ID and then what?  I ask for a specific person that can do kid piercings?
Guy:  Well, are you coming today?  Because if you come before 4, Lil Rat will be the one and if you come after 4, you’ll want Punk Ray.  He’s a real tough lookin’ dude, but he’s smooth.
Me: *gulp* Well, we won’t be there until at least 6.  So I ask for Ray.
Guy: Yeah, Punk Ray.  He’s real good.  I been piercing for about 10 years but I have a 15 month old and I let him do hers because he’s so good at it.
Me, talking while thinking ^ that ^ : Okay so I ask for Punk Ray and then what?
Guy: Well, he’ll take y’all back and get everything set up.  I can come help keep her calm if I need to.
Me, thinking: Based on this conversation, I think you really mean keep ME calm, but whatever.
Me: And he’ll just do it really quickly?  Do I need to bring the earrings or do you have them there?
Guy: We have some here.  A loop is really what we prefer but you can do a guraksbirg if you want.
(OK, OK…he didn’t say guraksbirg, but I honestly didn’t hear/understand the word he actually said.)
Me: Alrighty, so we pick them out there.  So how much is this going to run me?
Guy: Well it depends on blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.
(He said too much too fast.  I couldn’t catch up.)
Me: Ok, well…I’m not sure about all that but just tell me what the maximum amount will be.
Guy: Absolute maximum would be fifty, but probably less.
Me: Great!  See you later.
Guy: Alrighty.  Don’t forget!  You want Punk Ray.


And so we got there and Punk Ray had just started some detail work.  (Which sounded more like something you’d hear at a car place, not a tattoo place…but what do I know?)  So the other piercer, Josh, got everything set up and ready for us.  And by set up and ready that does not include putting drapes over the inappropriate photos in the piercing room.  (Granted, they were funny and she didn’t get it but DANG!) (And also?  It’s a tattoo parlor so I can’t really complain about the possible artwork, right?)

But I will say that I was very impressed with how clean it was and how professional Josh was (even with dreads and tats) and how smoothly he did his job.  She never even winced.  Not even once.  There wasn’t a single tear, not one grimace.  So…yes, I took my small child into a tattoo parlor and it was a wonderful experience and I’ll do it again if the baby one day decides she wants her ears pierced.  I do not, however, plan on returning for a tattoo.  “Mama, when I’m 18 can we come back and get tattoos?”  “Don’t hold your breath.”





She’s crazy-excited and I am, too.

14 Responses to Taboo Tattoo Tales
  1. Monica
    May 3, 2012 | 11:32 pm

    These pictures are all kinds of awesome! The contrast! Holy cow.

  2. Renée J. (RJ Flamingo)
    May 3, 2012 | 11:55 pm

    Love! I didn’t get my ears pierced till I was 9. Back then, there were no jewelry shops with piercing guns – or even reputable tattoo (shops? parlors? stores?), like now. No, I got dragged to the doctor! Not nearly as fun as this looks like! Nowadays, whenever a girl baby is born into our family, we just have ’em done right there in the hospital. No memories, no angst. Not near as fun, either. 🙂

  3. Edmund Grant
    May 4, 2012 | 5:39 am

    You know I love it. Thanks for sharing.

  4. April
    May 4, 2012 | 9:24 am

    LOVE. Abi has been talking off and on for almost a year about having hers pierced, but she’s only heard the horror stories. We will be reading this & looking at her smiling pictures when we get home tonight!

  5. Kimberly
    May 4, 2012 | 10:35 am

    Love this- love the pic where both of them are smiling- so cute 🙂

  6. Christy
    May 4, 2012 | 11:32 am

    You are one of the funniest writers. I swear B. I was rolling imagining your conversation while eating lunch in a public place. Alone. People here feel I need a shrink I am sure. I think they need a healthy dose of Bridget Ivey. 🙂

  7. Tina
    May 4, 2012 | 11:49 am

    Awwww…she is SO proud of those earrings!

    She told us ALL about the “pre” -story – the buid up BEFORE going to get her ears done. (Not to be afraid..the man may look a little scary….. – you know JUST the kind of things teachers love to hear, huh? )

    BTW – that was before I read your email.

  8. Marsha
    May 4, 2012 | 11:16 pm

    Awesome! If we could do it all over again for the first ear piercing, we would have gone the cored route. Just did not know all of the details. I think Josh may have been the one to do Mara’s navel. Glad that her experience is a wonderful memory and not another horror story of a gun piercing getting locked or hung up. The pics are Bridgetalicious as ALWAYS! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith
    May 4, 2012 | 11:53 pm

    She looks so excited, what an adventure for both of you.

  10. Tricia
    May 6, 2012 | 9:04 am

    This is awesome! You are braver than I! (I once nearly passed out st a tattoo parlor once while accompanying my sister to get a piercing). Your girl looks so happy!

  11. Jennifer
    May 9, 2012 | 4:27 pm

    Awesome. You are one brave Mommy. (Note, I used a capital “M”) Given the phone conversation, I think I might have chickened out. We went to a Merle Norman in Atlanta and our experience, well, wasn’t like that. Tears, yes. Holding down for the second ear, yes. But *sigh* it’s done.

  12. punkinmama
    May 10, 2012 | 3:01 pm

    Wow. I think I read that while holding my breath, and I’m not sure why. But I agree, you are very brave! I’m not sure I could’ve handled that! But I’ll have to read your info re: cored needle piercing, because I have no idea what that really means nor why I don’t see a single tear. But that is awesome! I can still feel the sting of the gun that pierced my ears 20-some years ago!!

  13. Carmen
    May 11, 2012 | 12:16 pm

    This is why, when Allegra got her ear cartilage pierced as well as her belly button that we went to a tattoo place.

    Tons of fun!

  14. Lorie
    May 15, 2012 | 4:34 pm

    I LOVE this!!! I’ll have to show this to E, because we have a little girl that has been asking about getting her ears pierced. I hadn’t considered a tattoo parlor, but this was so immensely entertaining, I may try it when the time is right!