Sunday, July 22, 2012
A few rites of passage
First, we needed a serious reward for stopping thumbsucking. Like many of her cribmates in Kolkata, Anya Rashi has been a thumbsucker from infancy on. Some of our earliest photos of her show a sweet little face with a thumb popped in it -- in fact, she sometimes developed a callous from so much use!
With kindergarten approaching, we decided to work on quitting, which was relatively easy to do if her "fuzzy" (her pink blankie) stayed on her bed all day instead of traveling around the house. We agreed that she could have her ears pierced if she could make it 30 days with no daytime thumbsucking at all. Carefully, she wrote down every successful day on a chart on the refrigerator . . . and before we knew it, she had made it 30 days!
Our second reason for piercing before kindergarten was about blending with some of the Indian families at our school. Another adoptive mother brought the cultural aspect of ear piercing to my attention. My friend has a Hispanic daughter, and it's a norm within her daughter's culture to pierce girls' ears as infants. In India, many families do the same thing. Because we have quite a few Indian families at our school, we thought it might be a good idea to have her ears pierced before school starts in September.
At her kindergarten orientation, I discovered that there will be at least three Indian girls in her grade, so we decided to go ahead. There certainly are girls in India who don't have their ears pierced as babies -- but we chose to "blend" in this regard as a way to have there be one less difference between Anya Rashi and other girls who share her heritage. There are many ways our family will be different than her classmates' families, so we decided to take this one small difference out of the equation.
She was SO excited on the big day, and was giddy as she chose her earrings. The excitement continued as the ladies washed her ears and marked them with a dot. Then when they approached her to get the job done, she started to whimper and panic. After a few conversations, browsing for future earring purchases, and watching a younger girl have her ears pierced without any outward sign of pain (wow!), Anya Rashi was ready.
This time, she sat on my lap to bolster her courage. We had told her that it would feel like her earlobes were being pinched, but didn't think to tell her that it would sound loud -- that seemed to surprise her. Almost before she knew it, it was over, with just a few tears that were quickly replaced by a huge grin. She is very proud of herself, and is happy to show anyone we meet her new blue earrings.
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Our other rite of passage wasn't quite so much fun. Yesterday we discovered that our car had a flat tire, so Peter decided it was a good time to show the kids how to change a tire. Thankfully, it happened while the car was parked in our driveway! We'll see how much Nathan and Aaron remember in 5-6 years when they're ready to drive. I'm sure those years will pass all too quickly!