I love my pediatrician’s office, though I suspect that it might be a one-sided love that is not reciprocated on their side. I’m fairly confident that I am not the most neurotic parent they deal with – I don’t call in the wee hours complaining that my kid has a runny nose; I don’t beg for antibiotics for viral illnesses; I am vehemently pro-vaccine. But I do call them a lot. If I were to go through my phone log, I would be willing to be that the pediatrician’s number would be probably the fifth-most-frequently dialed, just after my mom, my husband, my dad, and my daughter.

“My kid cut her foot on a metal gate. Is she going to get tetanus and die?” (No.)

“Can you call me in a prescription for more lice medicine?” (Yes.)

“Her pupils are uneven. Does she have brain cancer?” (No.)

“Can you look at this gross rash?” (Yes.)

“Georgia fell off the bed; Ruby has hives; Georgia has croup; Ruby had a sleep-walking episode; how much Delsym can I give; how many days without a bowel movement is too many?”

God bless them, seriously.

Recently they’ve had to field a litany of questions from me regarding having Ruby’s ears pierced, which is happening this Monday. I know many parents pierce their little girls’ ears when they’re babies, but that never felt right to me – I wanted it to be a choice she made. I didn’t have a set age in mind for when she could have it done, but her dad decided on 8, so that’s what we went with, and the time is here. (Please don’t ask me how she is already 8.)

So far I have called the pediatrician’s office to ask where I should have it done, how I should have it done, if I should buy special studs, what I should do afterward in terms of cleaning, and what I should do if she develops a nickel allergy like practically everyone on her dad’s side of the family. The last time I called, it took two days for anyone to call me back, but to their credit they did – and to my credit, I only called once and would have blown it off if they hadn’t gotten back to me at all. It’s the height of flu season, and I was calling to ask if I should put Orajel on my kid’s earlobes in advance. I even annoy myself sometimes.

I am not really sure why this is such a big deal to me. I had my ears pierced when I was about Ruby’s age, don’t remember it being particularly traumatic, and hardly ever wear earrings now, so this really shouldn’t even register on the anxiety scale, pro or con. I truly do not care if she gets her ears pierced. I guess maybe that’s it right there; my concern is that this is so purely elective, done for no other reason than vanity, so I hate the idea of it hurting her, even mildly, even for a minute. But that’s also why I made sure to wait long enough that it could truly be her choice.

I’ll be sure to post an update (with pictures) next week. In the meantime, if anyone has reassuring stories or advice to share, please pass them along. It may save me one more call to the pediatrician.