Ep. 282 – Piercing Your Child’s Ears

November 27, 2023

Listen Now:

When Shanna’s 7-year-old asks to get her ears pierced, Shanna considers all her options, including Claire’s Boutique, local piercing parlors and more, and Laura celebrates her 4-year-old’s artistic triumph when he draws a very detailed, albeit spooky, creature. Also, in the special segment “Throwback,” Shanna tells the story of the time in sixth grade when her mom accompanied her to her flute audition for district honors band. Finally, they share their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s kids are 4.5 and 7.5 years old, and Laura’s kids are 4.5 years old and 2.5 years old.

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Big Fat Positive: A Pregnancy and Parenting Journey podcast is hosted by Laura Birek and Shanna Micko and produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.

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Episode Transcript

Laura:
Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. This week, we have our weekly check-ins. We have our special segment, Throwback, where Shanna tells a story about her adventures in floutistry, and we close with our BFPs and BFFs for the week. Let’s get started. Hi, everyone. Welcome to episode 282. Hi, Shanna.

Shanna:
Hi, Laura.

Laura:
Let’s get right to it. I wanna hear what you’ve been up to this week.

Shanna:
Alright. Well, first of all, I’m trying not to get blown away because it’s extremely windy right now outside. And if you hear any loud noises, maybe trees falling on my house. You know, that’s why. Okay?

Laura:
Okay. Hopefully, no trees falling on your house.

Shanna:
I know. I really have a fear of trees falling because two huge eucalyptus trees fell in my backyard when I was a kid, so I have this fear of trees falling.

Laura:
Honestly, I think that’s a legit concern in your area, it gets so freaking windy.

Shanna:
Yes. It is a wind tunnel up here.

Laura:
Our palm trees shed fronds, I guess. We have these 2 gigantic palm trees in our front yard, and they shed their dead fronds. they’re supposed to. that’s a thing that happens, but I’m always really afraid of those falling on the kids or something. So, yeah, I feel that.

Shanna:
Yeah. Yeah. You need someone there – like when you go to a softball game or a baseball game and a ball gets hit over, like a foul ball, and everyone’s like, “Heads up!” You need that but for your palm fronds in your neighborhood.

Laura:
Yes. But trees don’t give a fuck.

Shanna:
They don’t, man. Trees don’t give a fuck.

Laura:
Alright. So despite all the falling tree branches and the howling windstorm outside. What have you been up to?

Shanna:
Okay. I have an exciting update for this week. Elle got her ears pierced.

Laura:
What? That is exciting.

Shanna:
It is exciting. She’s been asking for a while now, and I’m always like, yes. Of course.
I’ve been waiting for her to ask to make sure that’s something she wants to do. And finally, she got interested. I think some of her friends have their ears pierced, and she saw their dazzling earrings, and was like, I want that. And I was immediately like, yes. Of course. But the follow through on that was tough for me because I didn’t know exactly how to go about doing it the right way, because when I was a kid, it’s like you go down to the mall, you go to Claire’s, some 16 year old girl puts a gun on your ear and punches your ear, and they still do that. But so much of what I’ve read from my Facebook groups and just, I don’t know, generally what’s out there in the world is that maybe that’s not the best option. Maybe there are better options. There are professional piercers in the world, and you could go to a tattoo and piercing shop and do it. I’m like, okay. Maybe I’ll look into that. And I looked into that, and it seems really expensive. And I didn’t know where to go, and I just kept kinda putting it off but being like, we’ll do it.

Laura:
Yeah. Of course.

Shanna:
And she kept bugging me and bugging me and bugging me about it.

Laura:
She sounds like how I was as a kid. I always wanted to get my ears pierced. I was begging my mom, and her rule was you’ll do it when you’re 10. Oh, okay. And I remember that was the big exciting thing. When I turned 10, we went to the mall, and some 16 year old put a gun up to my ear, and I got my ears pierced.

Okay. But since you decided to be a more modern parent and not go the eighties mall route, what ended up happening?

Shanna:
Well, this weekend, I was like I don’t know. People get pierced at Claire’s all the time. So I texted Steve. I was like, hey. Would he be okay if we just get her ears pierced at Claire’s? Because it just seemed easy. the easiest choice. And he texted back. (He was in the living room. I was in my office, by the way. We’re texting each other. So weird.) He texted back and was like, No. I don’t want her to get pierced there. I was like, great, another roadblock. And he just took it upon himself, looked up a piercing studio in the area, immediately called and made an appointment for a couple hours later.

And he walked into the family room. He was like, guess what? You’re getting your ears pierced today. And she’s like, what? And yeah. So that’s what we did.

Laura:
You know what? I love that because I was getting a little irritated – my hackles went up just a little bit – when it was like, you’re asking an opinion. He says, no. I don’t wanna do that. And usually that ends up just being more work for you. Not talking about Steve, but for the spouse. A spouse will suggest something. The other spouse will say, no. I don’t like that.

And that just means that you, the original asker, has to do more work. But he was like, no. I’ve made a decision, but I’m not gonna make this be more work for you. I’m gonna actually follow through. I love that. I love that.

Shanna:
I know. Me too. It was great. So we went to this piercing and tattoo studio in our neighborhood, and I think maybe some parents might feel concerned about going that route. It’s not kid friendly. You know? Claire’s is so kid friendly, but a piercing studio, a tattoo studio might feel different.

Laura:
Scary tattooed people will be there. you envision some biker dude, some Hell’s angel getting his upper arm tattooed, right, while smoking a cigarette while you bring your precious little baby in to get their ears pierced.

Shanna:
Yeah. Yeah. So we walked in, and it was, of course, totally fine. The piercer’s name was Nicholas, and he was very tattooed. But the sweetest guy, and he was so great with Elle. He explained everything. He’s like, first, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna sit here in the waiting room, and I’m gonna explain some things to you. He’s like, I’m not gonna do anything to your body that you don’t want me to do, you always have the right to say no.

No matter what your parents say, if we get in there and I start going and you change your mind and say no, I will listen to you. So he really put her at ease. He told her the rules about cleaning her ears. And, Laura, I about shit my pants When I heard these cleaning rules, I was like, what am I getting myself into?

Laura:
Uh-huh. Yeah. What are you getting yourself into?

Shanna:
He was like, okay, you need to clean the earrings 3 times a day with wound wash.

Laura:
What is wound wash?

Shanna:
A saline wound wash. It comes in a pressurized container. You get iit at Target or whatever, so it’s completely sanitary. So you have to wash your hands with Dial antibacterial soap, clean it with a Q tip and then spray it with this wound wash 3 times a day. So I was already like, woah. Three times a day. How are we gonna fit that in our schedule? And then he said for 4 to 5 months. And I was like, what?

Laura:
Yeah.

Shanna:
And he’s like, you can’t go into a swimming pool for 4 to 5 months. He was telling her germs and bacteria spread when you touch your face. He’s like, I don’t want you to touch above your neck for the next 4 months.

Laura:
Wow. He was taking it super seriously. I mean, I appreciate that. Also I 100% went to the swimming pool the day after I got my ears pierced.

Shanna:
I know. Thinking about the way I took care of my newly pierced ears as a kid compared to this, it’s hilarious. But he took it very seriously. He is no nonsense about his piercings getting infected. So there were all these rules, and I was like, I don’t know if Elle’s gonna agree to this. You know? And he’s like, what do you think? Do you wanna go back and do it? And she’s like, yep. And I was like, okay.

So we went back there, and she was nervous. We went back to one of the little piercing rooms, and she sat on a table, almost like a doctor’s table. And he explained everything, and she held my hand. And he was like, are you ready? Do you wanna do this? And she’s like, yep. And, he just stuck that needle through her earlobe, And she was such a champ about it. I mean, it hurt a tiny bit, but she was just like, no big deal. She was getting what she wanted, and it was a success.

Laura:
Wow. So what kind of studs do they put in? I assume they have special beginner earrings or whatever? I remember we had whatever earrings we had to keep in for a certain number of weeks so that the holes wouldn’t close-up.

Shanna:
Yeah. He is also very serious about that. He’s like, the only earrings I’ll use on children are these medical grade stainless steel studs that have a ball on the front and back. So, you know when we got pierced as a kid or even now a lot of earrings you put on the back, and there’s a pokey park that pokes into your neck. So this, he twisted a little ball on the back. So when she lies down nothing pokes into her head. It’s cute. I was worried when I saw them because I didn’t think they were gonna be fancy enough for her.

I knew she wanted something fancy. I didn’t say anything. I was just like, that’s great. And she thought it was great. She thought it was really cute and pretty, and, yeah, she likes it.

Laura:
That’s amazing. I remember I really was very motivated to get my ears pierced, so I was fine with the pain as well. But I’m thinking about Auggie and how freaked out he gets about just shots. And it blows my mind that a kid would voluntarily subject themselves to it. You know? Because thinking about it now, I’m like, oh, that’s a big piece of flesh. You know? It’s going through. Wow.

Shanna:
Yeah.

Laura:
How did it feel to see your little baby get earrings?

Shanna:
Oh, I loved it. I loved it. I think it is so cute on her. I was so proud that she did it. I feel like it was empowering for her to make that choice about what she wanted to do with her body and she did it. So I think it was a really positive experience all around. I asked Cece if she wanted to also, and She’s like, hell no.

Laura:
I was gonna ask. That was my next question: did this inspire Cece to do it?

Shanna:
No. Not at all. Not at all. I don’t know if and when she’ll ever want it, but she’s not into shots these days herself. So, yeah, I don’t see her wanting to get her ears pierced anytime soon.

Laura:
I will say as a person who begged my mother for years desperate to get my ears pierced, how many times have you seen me wear earrings, Shanna?

Shanna:
Very rarely. Your wedding? My wedding?

Laura:
Yeah. I wore them at your wedding. I wore them at my wedding. Every once in a while, if I’m like, man, tonight’s gonna be special. I’ll put earrings in.

Shanna:
Oh my gosh. I hardly ever wear earrings anymore after the pandemic. I became a shut-in, basically. I was like, no point in dazzling myself, but Elle has inspired me. I wore earrings for a couple days after that. I’m like, oh, it’s fun.

Laura:
We’ll see. Once she gets past this initial phase, you guys could have mommy daughter earrings, matchy matchy.

Shanna:
Oh my god. I can’t wait. We just have to wait 5 months. Oh my god.

Laura:
That’s wild. That’s amazing. I mean, I’m so glad that times have changed that much, that people actually care about the healing. That’s good. Well, that sounds like a great experience all around.

Shanna:
Yeah. It was really fun. Here’s a picture of her with her new earrings.

Laura:
Oh, okay. Good. This is what I was waiting for. Aw. She looks so proud. That’s so sweet.

Shanna:
Yeah. She loves them. Alright. So that was me this week. What’s going on with you all?

Laura:
Well, you may hear some stomping around and some yelling, ”let’s get out the door,” type things because Auggie is currently trying to get the boys out the door to Descanso Gardens, and then it’ll be quiet. No windstorms up here, but we got some boy storms downstairs. But I’ll try to talk through it. So this week, I just wanted to talk about sort of a progression I’ve seen in Auggie’s drawing abilities. And how I’m sort of excited about it. I don’t know if I’ve talked about it much on the podcast, but I’ve definitely been a little concerned about Auggie’s lack of interest and ability in drawing a lot of representative figures.

I do think I had a BFP or something a while back about how he drew his first stick figure and showed me.

Shanna:
Yeah. I remember that.

Laura:
And it’s definitely been heightened because every time I go to a school event or something, I’ll see all of his classmates’ drawings, and it’s like full scenes. And granted, some of them are in kindergarten, and he’s TK. So I get that it’s different ages, but still, I’ll look at everyone’s, and then his will be like a bunch of scribbles. And I’m just like, is this a problem? What is going on? Is it an interest thing? Is it like, what’s happening?

And I had talked to his teacher about it back when they had their open house, and she said oh I think he needs to work on his fine motor skills, and that’s the problem. And I’m like, the child puts together the most elaborate LEGO things. You know? With these little fiddly single piece LEGOs. And I’m like, I don’t think it’s a fine motor skill deficit. He clearly has fine motor skills. But when it comes to the pen, a marker or a pencil or whatever. Whatever it is, it hasn’t been clicking.

But this week, we had a little art session, and he started creating some stuff I was kind of proud of, so I wanna send you some pictures and some videos of our little art in. So here they come.

Shanna:
Yes.

Laura:
So I will say in some of these early pictures, you’ll see on one side something I drew.

Shanna:
Oh, okay. Alright. Let’s see. Alright. Here are your two cuties sitting at the table in their jammies with markers. Auggie has a good grip on that marker. I was curious about how he was holding pens, but he’s got it The right way. That’s good.

Oh, look at that. Next picture, he’s got a little figure of a person with x’s for eyes. What does that say? And maybe holding blasters in each hand.

Laura:
There will be an explanatory video coming up. We’ll hear it. I’ll make sure to put it in the podcast too.

Shanna:
Amazing. Okay. Let’s see. Okay. Here’s your drawing of a mummy. Very good, by the way.

Laura:
Thank you.

Shanna:
Alright. Let’s see. Oh, we’ve got a video. Okay.

(Audio from video recording)

Laura:
So what is this?

Auggie:
Oh, he’s a monster. He has 2 pistolas, holders for the pistolas, feet, arms, x eyes, And and a smile And a smile. And a pointy necklace.

Laura:
And a pointy necklace. Can you hold it up so I can see? Does he have a name?

Auggie:
His name is Pocket Knife.

Laura:
Pocketknife.

Auggie:
I didn’t even know the Pocketknife. I just didn’t get it.

Laura:
Got it. It’s hidden in his pocket. Is he dead?

Auggie:
No. He’s not dead. Some monsters have x eyes. Oh, I see. Like a zombie person.

Laura:
Got it. Got it. Well, I think it’s very cool, and I love seeing you draw.

Shanna:
This is amazing. It’s a zombie monster with x eyes, 2 pistols, a pointed necklace, and his name is pocket knife. I LOL’d at that. That is so cute. I love it.

Laura:
So there’s two things about – well, there’s many things to talk about about this – but two things I wanna call out. One is that he called the blasters or guns that the guy was holding, pistolas. Did you catch that?

Shanna:
Oh, pistolas. No. I thought he said pistols. Is that Spanish for pistol?

Laura:
Oh my god. So Corey decided it would be funny if instead of teaching him that pistols were pistols, that they’d be pistolas. I don’t even know. It’s like yeah. I mean, it’s Spanish for gun, but it’s also like I think it’s in a lot of old movies like my pistola or whatever. I don’t know. Anyway, I think Corey thought it would be funny.

But now he calls everything his pistola. And sometimes he shortens it, but he calls them pists. It’ll just be like, mama, look at this pist I made. And we’re like, oh god. And also he said it was pocket knife, But if you notice in other pictures I sent you, the name has changed. He changed it to Bloodasauraus. And he actually, if you watch the other video I sent you, he was able to write out the letters and dots at the bottom, and he was able to trace it.

Shanna:
Cool.

Laura:
This kid’s obsession with zombies. I mean, granted, it was just Halloween, and I know that it was in the zeitgeist, but it’s just like, my adorable little baby is like, he has x’s for eyes and blood and with his inexplicable weird like Brooklyn accent is like so, anyway, you could watch the other video I sent you just for cuteness sake.

Shanna:
Okay.

(Audio from video recording)

Auggie:
Blood dripping down. Blood dripping down. Blood dripping down.

Laura:
Alright. Who we got here? Alright.

Auggie:
I forgot to draw the moon’s blood.

Laura:
You forgot to draw the moon’s blood. Yeah.

Shanna:
So cute. Auggie just singing to himself like blood dripping down, dripping down. Sebastian’s drawing a big, big monster. So cute.

Laura:
So we ended up creating a whole series. And what happened was I had to go upstairs and do something. And when I came back down, Auggie had convinced Corey to draw a whole series of monsters.

Shanna:
Oh.

Laura:
So I’m actually gonna send you some black and white scans of the other ones because I had a really brilliant idea because Sebastian kept wanting to continue drawing on them, and I was like, well, no. Those are creations that are done. They’re up on the wall. And I was like, oh, if I scan them in with a scanning app, I can print them out, and they can be coloring pages. So that’s what I did.

Shanna:
Smart.

Laura:
So I just sent you the whole set.

Shanna:
Okay. We’ve got a mummy called blood eye. I think that’s what that says. This one has a gigantic eye head. It’s called bloody everywhere. Oh, a werewolf vampire. Who did all these? You? Auggie? No, Corey.

Laura:
Corey. No.

Shanna:
Very impressive. One eye, bloody face. I’m assuming Auggie is the one in charge of naming all of these.

Laura:
Indeed. Indeed. Bloody horn.

Shanna:
This looks like some kind of demon pegasus of sorts.

Laura:
Yeah. To me, Auggie informed me it has 4 arms, which is what we’re seeing. But to me, it looks like it has 2 arms and 2 very pointy boobs.

Shanna:
Definitely. That was my first thought too. And an Evil crab with 3 eyes called blood, blood, blood, blood, bloody. Oh my gosh.

Laura:
So that was our wholesome Sunday.

Shanna:
Yeah. I bet now that he’s starting to realize how creative he can be with drawing, maybe he’ll be more interested in it. He can create these characters and details and things from his mind. Maybe he’ll do it more.

Laura:
I think you’re right. I think he’s definitely sort of realized that he can unlock it. You know?

Shanna:
Yeah. That’s so fun. Yeah.

Laura;
So I am very proud of him even though his subject matter is very bloody and morbid. But that’s it for me this week. Should we move on to our special segment? Sure.

Laura:
And we are back. And this week, Shanna is in the hot seat for our special segment because it’s her turn to tell a throwback story. Whoo. For those who don’t remember from last week, Throwback is the segment where we tell a story from our past that maybe informs our parenting today. Shanna, I don’t wanna waste any more time. Let’s get straight to it.

Shanna:
Alright. Let’s get to it. Okay. So we’re rewinding all the way back to the late eighties, maybe early nineties. And I was in elementary school in Phoenix, Arizona. And when I was in 4th grade, I started playing the flute. Okay?

Laura:
Me too. Yes.

Shanna:
Okay. So I always think about my childhood and think to myself, if I could sum up who I was and what my childhood was in 3 words, it would be flute, softball, big glasses. Okay? Just I know that’s two words, but whatever. Okay? Flute, softball, big glasses. That’s me. And I really owned these things. You know? Well, not the glasses. I didn’t like the glasses, But we all know my saga with glasses.

The softball, the flute, it was like, yeah. That was me. I loved it. So I joined the band at my elementary school in 4th grade and started learning how to play the flute, and I was a really fast learner with music. I had also been learning to play piano at home, and I learned how to read music really quickly. I just picked up the technical mechanics of it very well, very quickly. I wouldn’t say I felt the music. I wasn’t talented musically in that way, but my fingers could fly on a flute pretty early on.

So I had a lot of confidence playing the flute.

Laura:
As you should. Okay.

Shanna:
And because of this, I very quickly became the best flute player at my school and in the band, and I really enjoyed being the best. One of my crowning moments playing the flute was when my aunt Connie asked me to play the flute at her wedding, she was getting married, and she wanted me to play Groovy Kind of Love on my flute, by Phil Collins. Do you know that song?

Laura:
I do. I know that song. Yes.

Shanna:
Okay? So I learned that on the flute. My mom played piano and accompanied me, and I just remember going to Sears before the wedding and picking out this outfit. It was this cotton baby pink skirt and button up shirt, and I even got a celebratory wide brimmed hat, and this was so unlike me. I was kind of a tomboy, playing in the dirt kinda kid. And so this was a big deal to really get dressed up and play at this wedding, and I nailed it. I knocked it out of the park. It was fabulous. So that was when I was in about 6th grade.

So a little bit later that year, when I found out about auditions for the district wide honors band, I was into it. This was my chance to elevate myself above the other kids in my local elementary school band and play with the best of the best. And so I was really excited about this opportunity. My mom and I went to the music store in town and bought some sheet music. I remember we bought a book of different flute solos. And I brought them home, and I tried them all out. And I picked a song called Gavotte, which is a cute little flute solo by François-Joseph Gossec. Let me send you the YouTube of this whole flute solo so you can get an idea of what it sounded like.

Laura:
Okay. Wow. Okay. So there’s a lot of fast fingers in there. I don’t remember exactly what those are called. 16th note glissando glides down. I don’t think they’re technically glissandos. They’re like those things. That takes some effort.

Shanna:
Yeah. Yeah. And so I really loved this song. I thought it was so cute, and I practiced a lot for this audition for this honor band. And for me, practicing looked like going into my bedroom, which was covered in New Kids on the Block posters and Garfield posters, as you do when you’re that age.

Laura:
Just a bunch of hotties. Just a bunch of hotties on your wall.

Shanna:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Sitting on my twin bed with my little music stand in front of me and playing it over and over and redoing parts I messed up. So I did not have a coach. I did not have a teacher.

I feel like in this day and age, if Elle is trying out for something, I better get her some coaching or something like that. No. No. No. None of that kind of stuff existed back then in my world.

Laura:
You were self motivated.

Shanna:
I was. I was self motivated, and I’m not sure I even played it for anyone else other than the hotties on my wall, Jordan Knight thought I was great at Gavotte, basically.

Laura:
I bet he did. Yeah. I mean he’s a musical genius. I was more of a Joey girl, personally. But yeah.

Shanna:
Yeah. Joey was cute too. I liked him too. But in my opinion and theirs, I was nailing this song, and I felt really good about it. So the audition was coming up, and I was getting really excited. And I think I just need to pause here and emphasize how important it was to me at that time in my life to be good at things and be the best. That was a big part of my identity. I was an achiever.

I won awards for writing in elementary school. I got trophies for softball. I got blue ribbons at field day, I skipped ahead a grade at math. I was always trying to be the best, do my best, and win, basically. So I was really excited about this opportunity for this audition to show people the world that I was also really good at playing the flute.

Laura:
Alright. So this is stepping out of your comfort zone a bit. You’re used to practicing in front of the NKOTB, but you have to audition for real in front of judges.

Shanna:
Yes. Yes. You would think I would be nervous, but I was not. Completely confident, completely excited, and definitely wanted to go in there and show my skills. So the audition was on a Saturday morning, and I put on my wedding outfit, the same one I wore to play Groovy Kinda Love. My little pink outfit. I didn’t wear the hat for this, but I definitely dressed up. I was trying to put my best foot forward.

Laura:
It’s just funny. I know that you just explained that it wasn’t a wedding dress. But in my mind, when you say I put on my wedding outfit, I’m imagining a 6th grader showing up in a full wedding dress to a flute audition.

Shanna:
Oh, I really wish that were the case. If you wanna go ahead and imagine that for the rest of this story, go for it. You know? Go for it. So my mom takes me over to an elementary school across town, and we sign in, and we wait outside of a classroom for my turn. The auditions are being held in a classroom, and we’re waiting outside. And as we’re waiting, I can hear the other kids audition through all the windows in the classroom. I can hear what they’re doing.

And they’re doing their little solos. And, honestly, I’m thinking about how my song is better than theirs and definitely more challenging and more likely to show off my skills, etcetera, etcetera. So it’s my turn to go in, and I go in. My mom’s behind me, and there are three adults sitting in desks waiting for me, and they tell my mom to please wait outside. And suddenly, my stomach goes, and she leaves. So I’m alone in the classroom with these music teachers that I’ve never met Laura, and a feeling comes over me that I had never felt before in my life. My hands started shaking uncontrollably, and adults told me to go to the front of the room. So I went and I put my music on the stand, and they asked me my name, my grade, my school, and what I’m gonna play and everything.

And I answer and I try to exude the confidence that I know lives inside of me, and my mouth goes completely dry. I think I answered, but with a croak in my voice, definitely. They tell me to begin whenever I’m ready, and my stomach flips. I bring my flute to my lips, and my fingers are buzzing, and my lips are frozen. I start to play, and by play, I mean puff air out of my lips in a way that I’ve literally never done before in my life. you’ve played the flute, Laura. You know what I mean? there’s a certain way you have to hold your lips and blow the air to make music.

Laura:
You have to have the perfect aperture or you can’t get the music. You have to blow – it’s sort of like blowing on the top of a bottle, but heightened. Like if you wanna make a hooting sound, I don’t know why you hoot. You have to sort of purse your lips. And if people have never played a wind instrument, it’s sort of like that. you have to do that, but extra small, and you have to really focus the air so it splits over the mouthpiece. And, yeah, it’s hard to do if you’re nervous.

Shanna:
Yes. What I was doing in that moment reminds me of what my girls do with their lips when they’re trying to learn how to whistle. In retrospect, it was like the type of breathing that a panicked person would be doing when they’re trying to catch their breath in the middle of an anxiety attack. But looking back, I’m like, oh, that’s exactly what was happening, basically,

Laura:
In that moment. It was baby’s first panic attack?

Shanna:
Yeah. So I’m standing up there, I’m blowing all wrong into the mouthpiece, and my fingers are moving, and my eyes are scanning the music, and barely audible little squeaks and honks are coming out of my flute, and my mind is absolutely flipping out. It’s complete panic. I have never experienced something like this in my life. I asked if I could start over, and they’re like, sure. So I try to recover, and my mouth is so dry. I’m completely shaking.

I’ve never felt that kind of nervousness in my life, and I definitely had never experienced that kind of failure before. It was all hitting me. My head was spinning. And I felt the eyes of the auditioners on me, and I felt pity in their eyes, but I got a real burst of “the show must go on” energy. I pushed through that song, much to the chagrin of the auditioners who had to listen to it, because nothing about my performance improved during the second time around. Nothing. It takes me three minutes to get through this ditty, and it’s like I might as well have just been blowing through a milkshake straw. It was so bad.

And I was completely aware that the windows in the classroom were right there. And if I had heard everyone else auditioning, Everyone was hearing me too. It was devastating, Laura. When I was done, I was utterly shell shocked. I’m sure I had the look in my eye, I don’t know, of a wild animal that had just been chased down in the Savannah and maybe severely injured. I just felt like my head was spinning. My eyes were wide. I was like, thank you, and left.

I’m like, what the Fuck just happened. You know? I was in a complete daze. Literally every single thing about that audition was something I’d never experienced before until that point, anxiety, panic, failure, humiliation, embarrassment, like deep, deep embarrassment. It was one of the worst things I ever experienced in my life, and I stepped out of the room like a dazed victim. Just like, what the hell? What the hell happened? And my mom is there, and I’m just like, oh my god. My mom probably heard all of that as did everybody else. And I just start walking away from the room, and she’s so sweet. She didn’t ask how it went or make me explain anything. It was just like a knowingness about what had just happened.

She put her arm on my shoulder, and I was just like, let’s go. So we left, and there wasn’t much talk in my house about what happened. I think my mom explained that my nerves got the best of me. You know, but there was no beratement of oh, you failed. There was no nothing. It was like just a sense of I love you no matter what. You know, it doesn’t matter that you failed. You’re still a good person. That’s what I walked away with.

Laura:
If she was disappointed, she didn’t let on.

Shanna:
Absolutely. No disappointment showed whatsoever. Needless to say, I did not make the honors band. Perhaps if there had been a dishonors band I would have made it. But what stands out is that she was so supportive and that this Incident, as traumatic as it was for me, didn’t destroy me. I was able to bounce back from it. I kept playing in the band.

I was sad that I didn’t make the honors band, but I continued to play flute for a few years and continued on with this quest for perfection and the bestness, but also with a bit of humbleness. I can fail. I’m not impenetrable. I’m human. And that’s the kind of thing I want to bring to my kids’ failures too. No disappointment. A quiet acknowledgement of you know, you’re okay. I love you no matter what. We don’t need to overtalk things if you don’t want to, but you’re a good person no matter what. And everybody fails, and it’s what makes us human. So I think that’s what stands out about that story for me.

Laura:
Yeah. For sure. Because there would probably be a lot of parents who would say “Why didn’t you… I’ve heard you do that a million times, and you did it well. And what happened in there? talk to me. Tell me what happened. I’m not mad at you. I just wanna know what happened.” I’d probably do that. I’d be like, I’m not mad, I just wanna know. I wanna find out what’s going on in your brain. And the quiet acknowledgment and acceptance is a really great lesson. You know?

Shanna:
Yeah. Especially because even if anyone had asked me that, I wouldn’t have known. I had no idea what any of those feelings were. In hindsight, I know. I’m like, oh, I had severe performance anxiety. I’ve experienced it more in my life since then, and I was having a bit of an anxiety attack, but in that moment, I didn’t know what the hell was going on. I wouldn’t have been able to explain that to anybody.

Laura:
And it’s also totally unrelated to what you would have had to do in the band. You don’t stand up by yourself in front of people in a band. You’re surrounded by other players. So I feel like that is not the best way to audition people. I mean, I’m sure it’s not like we can audition people in a big band, but I can see how it doesn’t correlate with your ability to play the flute. But, yeah, I do feel like nowadays as adults, you can look back, and you can think, oh, you have all these tools. If you’re having performance anxiety or any kind of anxiety, you have tools to ground yourself. But not only did we not have those in the eighties nineties you were too young to know.

But it makes me think about how I wanna try to give my boys some tools before this happens so that they could recognize it.

Shanna:
Yeah.

Laura:
And maybe they could breathe through it or do something grounding. I’m sorry you didn’t get into the band. I totally identify with this overachieving “everything you do is amazing,” “I’m gonna get it” mindset because that was how I was growing up.

And, yeah, it’s a feeling when you get taken down a peg.

Shanna:
Yes. It is. Clearly, I mean, I haven’t forgotten after all these years. That’s a memory alright.

Laura:
This is making me wanna get a flute and we could play duets together. Yeah.

Shanna:
We should. I have a piccolo. I loved playing piccolo too. It was so fun.

Laura:
I used to have my old flute from middle school, but I think I finally got rid of it because I’m like, this thing doesn’t work.

Shanna:
Yeah. It’s all dried out. The pads are all dried out after the years. You know what? Maybe I’ll ask my buy nothing group for a flute.

Laura:
Oh, that’s a good idea. Okay. It’d be so fun. Alright. Well, thank you for telling the story. I’m sorry for baby Shanna having a panic attack. But again, wonderful gold star to your mom who’s always so understanding and wonderful.

Shanna:
Yeah. I know. I love her.

Laura:
But, also in the back of her mind, she was thinking like, yes. One fewer thing to drive Shanna too.

Shanna:
Exactly. Good. I love my mom. She’s so supportive.

Laura:
She really is.

Shanna:
I know. Should we move on to our BFPs and BFNs?

Laura:
Yes. We should.

Shanna:
We’re back, and we wrap up every episode with our weekly BFPs or BFNs. Laura, you’re up first. What do you got for us?

Laura:
I have a BFP. Okay. And it is music videos.

Shanna:
Oh, like old school MTV music videos?

Laura:
All kinds. Yeah. So it started with eighties music videos because it started with Thriller, of course. And because of the Halloween spooky season, we were listening to a lot of spooky songs, and Thriller kept coming up, and my boys really liked it. And I was like, oh you might like watching Michael Jackson videos because his videos are very cinematic. And, to be honest, I convinced Auggie to watch the first one.

It was a Smooth Criminal. I was like, oh, there’s guns in this one. And then when it came time to watch bad, I was like, oh, there’s a knife fight in this one.

Shanna:
You know what hooks your children.

Laura:
Exactly. I know it’ll get him interested, and then I knew that he’d be interested once we started because they were asking to watch all kinds of bullshit on TV. And I just did not wanna watch another episode of Blippi or Lego Avengers, which is Sebastian’s new thing. Every morning, he wakes up, he goes, “I wanna watch Lego Avengers. Lego Avengers.” I’m like, I don’t . I don’t wanna watch Lego Avengers again. So I’m like, okay. What can we do instead? And here’s the thing about music videos. They’re fun for everyone to watch. I’ve been really enjoying watching all these old eighties nineties music videos. They bring me right back, and they’re getting the kids up to dance. They are suddenly so interested in dancing. Auggie is studying Michael Jackson and trying to copy his moves.

And I swear Sebastian is doing a moonwalk. not a great one, but he’s walking backwards. It’s so cute. And then eventually, you run out of Michael Jackson videos. It takes a while, to be fair, because they’re very long videos. And I remembered that Okay Go has great videos.

Shanna:
Oh, they do.

Laura:
Yeah. They do. And so we started watching all of Okay Go videos, and those were such a hit. They want to watch them over and over, and they were also trying to copy the moves and stuff. They asked for specific ones now. Auggie will be like, writing’s on the wall because that’s the one. It has all these really cool optical illusions. It’s a STEM project, Shanna, because we’re talking about optical illusions in that one.

Shanna:
Oh, nice.

Laura:
But it is super fun, and I highly recommend it if you’re in a rut with your kids, and all they wanna watch is whatever, Cocomelon or stuff you don’t wanna watch. just head on over to YouTube and watch some music videos.

Shanna:
That’s such a smart idea. When I play Spotify in the car for the girls Spotify will do a 5 second loop of the part of the video.

Laura:
Oh, I know. Oh, I know. Yeah. Because I’m guessing your girls do what my boys do.

Shanna:
Well, they love it. They make me make sure that it stays on the screen. They watch it so intently, and I’m like, it’s the literal same 5 seconds over and over. Yeah. They’re so into it.

Laura:
Yeah. Sebastian goes, “I wanna see picture. I wanna see picture of the Spotify.” And I’m like, okay. And then I have to show them, and I’m like, well, my phone is plugged in. I can’t show you the picture right now. Auggie will be like, well, at a stoplight, show me. I’m like, oh my god.

Shanna:
I have a phone holder, so it sits in the phone holder up near the air vent so they can both see it.

Laura:
Also, Sebastian’s still rear facing, so he can’t see it. Oh. So he’s like, “I wanna see picture”, and I’m like, god. Dude, it’s Spotify. Let’s listen.

Shanna:
Well, this is such a fun idea. I definitely need to do this with my girls. I think they would love it. It didn’t even occur to me before to do that.

Laura:
Well, there you go. So, yeah, you gotta do it and tell me which ones they like, and we can share what videos our kids like.

Shanna:
Yeah.

Laura:
You can start with the eighties. We did Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel. That was a good one. Opposites attract. You know? Auggie was like “that cartoon cat’s dancing.”

Shanna:
Oh my god, Paula Abdul. One of the music videos that stood out to me as a kid was Wild Wild West. You know that one?

Laura:
Oh. I love that. Yeah. So good. Also, Take on Me. It has that really cool cartoon stuff. You know, music videos were awesome. They were so great. And there’s still some good ones. So yeah. That’s my BFP. How about you, Shanna? Do you have a BFP or a BFN?

Shanna:
I have a BFP. The other thing that happened this week is that Cece started playing soccer. So I think I mentioned before that when you have a YMCA Family membership now, they allow you to do certain youth activities and even sports leagues for free.

Laura:
Yes. You did.

Shanna:
Yeah. So I signed Cece up for soccer, for free, which is amazing because it saved us a lot of money. And her first get together was this week, and it was so cute. She absolutely loved it. It was just a bunch of 4-5 year olds out on this soccer field, and the coach was having them do calisthenics and warm ups and drills and stuff for the first half. And then the second half, he put little mesh shirts on half the kids, and they did a game. And, I mean, Cece was just thrown right into the deep end.

She’s never played soccer in her life, and here she is running around the field, playing a soccer game. And she was really in the thick of it just going in there, showing her sass and attitude as she always does. A a couple points some boy ran into her, and she’s just like, what the fuck? I mean, she didn’t say that, of course, but her body language is like, don’t mess with me. You know?

Laura:
Oh my god. Calm down.

Shanna:
Calm down. But, yeah, It seemed like a really good fit for her, so we’re really excited.

Laura:
That’s great. I don’t know. A lot of people have their kids in soccer, and it’s one of those things where I’m just like, it’s such a time commitment. You know?

But I guess you’re used to it with softball. You guys are a sporty family. We’re like, oof, we’re feeling lazy. But the amount of running in soccer is really just great for these energetic little kids.

Shanna:
Yes. Although, Cece did get tired by the end of the hour, and she came and sat with me, she’s like, my legs are tired. I’m like, that’s fine. You know? You don’t have to finish. So she drank water and just relaxed for the rest of it. But, yeah, tons of running, tons of exercise, great way to get out energy for these little ones.

Laura:
Do you think she has a position in her future? Do you think she’s showing an aptitude for a certain – I talk like I know anything more than goalie – I don’t know anything about soccer.

Shanna:
I was gonna say you’re talking to me like I know anything. Look. I know everything there is to know about softball and baseball. This was the first soccer event I’ve ever attended in my life.

Laura:
I mean, I did watch two seasons of Ted Lasso. So there you go.

Shanna:
There you go. You’re an expert. No. I have absolutely no clue. I don’t know what any positions are.

Laura:
I don’t know. We’ll see. I can see her being a future Roy Kent. Real surly.

Shanna:
Oh, is that someone from Succession? Who’s that?

Laura:
That’s a Ted Lasso guy.

Shanna:
Still need to watch Ted Lasso.

Laura:
Well, I mean, just maybe she could be a combination of Roy Kent and someone from Succession because it’d be nice to have $1,000,000,000.

Shanna:
Yeah. She’ll be Shiv for sure. Not gonna let anyone push her around. But, yeah, that’s it. It was just a fun thing to do and nice to get her into something that’s all her own. So there we are. Well, I think that’s it for this episode, Laura, unless you have a 5 star review to read.

Laura:
You know I do. This one is from AEL2B. It’s titled Amazing Podcast. 5 stars. “Great resource for first time moms. I started listening since I learned that I’m expecting, and I definitely could relate to the hosts. Got a lot of information about the pregnancy and beyond. Definitely recommend.”

Well, thank you.

Shanna:
Thank you. What a kind review. Thank you for taking the time to do that. And listeners, if you haven’t had a chance yet to leave us a 5 star review, could you please do us a favor? Head on over to Apple Podcasts, leave those 5 stars, say a couple things you love about the show, and we might read it on an upcoming episode. If you have any thoughts, comments, feedback on today’s episode, we would love to hear from you. Laura, where can everyone reach us?

Laura:
We are on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook at BFPpodcast. We have a website, big fat podcast.com. If you wanna send us an email, just send it to contact at big fat positive podcast.com. And finally, if you wanna get some exclusive content from me and Shanna, and you wanna join the coolest group of people on the entire Internet. Just search Facebook for big fat positive community. It is a private group, so you have to request to join, and make sure you answer those 2 membership questions so we know you’re not a robot. Once you do that, you’ll be sent straight through to all the amazing, wonderful, supportive conversations we’re having in there.

Shanna:
Our show is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko, and Steve Yager. Thanks for listening, everyone. Have a big fat positive week. Bye.