A couple of folks have emailed wondering about my "obsession" lately with posting random vintage stuff. I guess I'd be making more Amazon Nickels if I just posted about New! Exciting! Must-Have! baby gear all day.
Obviously, we're living in a baby design Golden Age; there's a lot of great design out there now, far more than there was even three years ago when we teetered on the edge of the new parent demographic. But frankly, the quality of the design of our stuff does not offset the fact that we have too much of it, and you probably do, too.
What seems to be missing, though, is context, a sense for how our generation of parenting connects or breaks, resembles or differs from, the generations who came before us. Life with a kid always feels like exploring a new country; in fact, it's more like NBC's classic slogan for marketing reruns: if you haven't done it, it's new to you!
Looking back at the artifacts and environments of previous generations of Modern Parents [sic] reminds me that, if things are different today, it's not because of gear. Just because it happens to match my tastes or sensibilities doesn't automatically make a a crib dad-friendly. After all, most of the Modern Parenting in the 60's and 70's was still done by women.
So I kind of feel like these vintage gear posts are part of a selective, if not revisionist, history of childrearing, a history that's sympathetic--or at least more palatable or accommodating--of dad involvement. I'd like to think we're not inventing the wheel here. Plus, it makes me a smarter vintage shopper.