I walked by the mall piercing station, the kiosk in the middle of the hall. What I assume is a father, holding his toddler child who is screaming as the piercer desperatly tries to get a clean shot on what must be a very small earlobe, which is moving and squirm. The little girl screams louder and I find myself flinching, wanting to run away from this cruelty that I cannot stop, where it's the father's accepted privilege to multilate his daughter without her concent (in fact very clearly against her wishes). My mother wanted me to wait until I could make an informed descion, or at least until I was mature enough to understand the descion, even if I was still being infulenced by social pressures. She strong discouraged it, but firmly beleived that at some point I should be able to make my own descions.
As I walked away, I started to think about the ear infections, the cleaning, the tenderness and the ear rings catching in things, then mixing that with the images of sticky, dirty, stumbling toddlers in the natural state of play. These things just don't mix.