Don’t You Grow Up in a Hurry.

By: Jen Shoop

Have you listened to Kanye’s newest album, Ye?  One of the songs, “Violent Crimes,” is a ballad of sorts to his daughter, lamenting the inevitability of her growing up, coming of age, and consorting with men.  The song startled me because it reflects a level of introspection and vulnerability I don’t typically associate with rap music, especially when Kanye says:

“Father forgive me, I’m scared of the karma
‘Cause now I see women as somethin’ to nurture
Not somethin’ to conquer”

I also related — deeply — to his parental protectiveness, his anxiety over the future of his daughter, and was touched in particular at the specificity of his concerns:

“Don’t do no yoga, don’t do pilates
Just play piano and stick to karate
I pray your body’s shaped more like mine and not like your mommy’s…
I pray that you don’t get it all at once
Curves under your dress, I know it’s pervs all on the ‘net
All in the comments, you wanna vomit
That’s your baby, you love her to death”

There is something about the details in these lyrics that rings true to me, reads as authentic and original, and I can’t stop listening to it or thinking about it.  After, I look over at minimagpie with an aching heart and pull her into me, aware that the minutaie and quirks of her fifteen-month-old self might disappear as quickly as this afternoon.  When did she stop gumming on toys and preferring to actually play with them?  When did she start understanding how those reusable sticker books work?  When did she stop sleeping with her butt in the air?  Where did she learn that fake laugh she tries on us now and again, waiting a tic afterward to see whether she’s elicited laughter from us?

I’ve written, extensively, about the warping of time in the wake of the birth of a child, the infinity of firsts and lasts you witness as a mother, but in such rapid-fire succession, it can occasionally be easy to lose sight of where one phase stops and another begins, and it can often occur that a small marker of the passage of time — say, the setting aside of too-small diapers — can lead to a quiet sob in a nursery on an otherwise nondescript Wednesday afternoon.

Something in Kanye’s song has mediated my experience of motherhood, reminded me to truly stop, put down the phone or the broom or the laundry basket or the armful of toys or the Kindle, nestle myself on the floor, and drink this little soul up in all of its fifteen-month glory.  Because as much as I need my mother to occasionally remind me that it’s OK — it’s necessary, survivalist even — to deposit mini in her crib for quiet playtime once or twice each day, I also cotton to the reminder that it’s also OK — necessary, survivalist even — to set aside the chores or the selfish pull of a bit of time to myself to get down on my hands and knees alongside her, lest she grows up in a hurry.


+The darling two-piece set shown in the snap above is by Spanish line No Sin Valentina.  Why are all the cutest baby clothes from Europe?

+Speaking of, La Coqueta Kids is currently running a summer sale, which *almost* makes up for the exorbitant price of shipping their pieces from abroad.  I have my heart set on this.

+I keep all of mini’s outgrown clothes — the ones we want to keep, at least; the rest we donate — in these soft-sided storage bins.

+I have been stopped by three mothers inquiring about mini’s snack tray, which attaches to the Bugaboo stroller.  It’s genius because mini otherwise hurls her empty snack catcher onto the dirty Manhattan sidewalk.

+I would have freaking LOVED this as a child.

+OK, this is too cute — the whale print!!!  Another great FOJ option.

+Dying over this robot-shaped kiddo plate.

+Would love to buy mini a set of these Petite Plume jammies, but still feel she’s a little young?

+Mini went to heaven when we surprised her with this stroller.  She’s now completely abandoned the walker and will spend hours of each day pushing her dollbabies around, adjusting the sunshade, etc.  It was actually a helpful tool in encouraging her to walk more steadily on her own, because she quickly learned she could not lean on it with the same pressure she’d used on her V-tech walker.  This frustrated her and led to more than a few tumbles, but she got the hang of it within a day and has been toddling around happily ever since.

+Just ordered these darling and affordable rugby striped jammies for mini.  She is in the 90th percentile of height — yes, the ninetieth!!!  and I was always in the fifth! — and is currently wearing a 2T.

+I think I might order her this Camelbak waterbottle for when her nanny takes her out into the Park for the day.

+In case you’re wondering, these are a clutch lifesaver for a car trip.  They thoroughly engaged her for a nice stretch of quiet time.

+Loving all of these new storage options!!!

+Mini owns this in pink and white, but I think I might need the platinum colorway, too…so cute!

P.S. To mini on her first birthday.

P.P.S.  I totally lost track of my monthly updates — the last one is here!  I’m long overdue…should I restart these?  They kind of feel like a vapid brain dump of miscellany, but…

P.P.P.S.  The cutest rashguards.

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9 thoughts on “Don’t You Grow Up in a Hurry.

  1. If you like Kanye and his lyrics and appreciate a good literary/musical analysis, the podcast Dissect is brilliant. Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album is dissected and analyzed by a brilliant literary and musical mind. Worth the listen.

  2. Such interesting insights about Kanye … I’ll give it a listen. I’m not such a fan of him these days, but his songs inspire suuuuch nostalgia in me, seeing as he came to prominence while I was in college. I’ll never forget watching him perform at my school during my senior year. Such a presence!

    I think Jen brings up a super interesting point about how Kanye is lamenting the Kardashian culture. This could be a post in and of itself!

    1. WHAAAATT – he performed at your school?!?!? THAT’S LEGENDARY! He’s such a bizarre and polarizing figure; some of his lyrics are extraordinary, insightful, but if you’ve ever seen him interviewed, it’s like “BLBLBLBLBLB?” A screw is loose…


  3. So glad the bandaids worked for the car! We brought SO many things on the plane to occupy the baby and in the end… we didn’t pull any of them out (save the dog stuffed animal she used as a pillow). She just wanted to be held and dozed most of both flights.

    I saw on an older post you were thinking about taking up needlepoint – do it!!! I call cross-stitching my old lady hobby, but I love keeping my hands occupied while watching TV – makes me feel like I’m being somewhat productive while simultaneously zoning out, if that makes any sense.

  4. While I’m not a Kanye fan and haven’t/won’t listen to his new album the lyrics you quoted broke my heart. Although I don’t have children yet, it is heartbreakingly sad that in addition to all the other worries parents have, they now have to worry about internet perverts and how their child will fit in our body image obsessed society. It’s also interesting to me that he is lamenting about this culture that his wife has helped to promulgate….

    1. Such an interesting point, Jen — it’s almost like, “you can’t have it both ways, Kanye!”, profiting off of our celebrity-obsessed culture and rejecting it at the same time. And yet…his expressions, his concerns are so natural and relatable…

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