December 16, 2004

Love For Sale

After reading Caitlin Flanagan's New Yorker article on the topic, Atlanta PhD candidate and savvy father of two David Morgen is shocked, shocked to find consumerism running rampant in the parenting world.

I'd agree, but I don't know what credibility I have on the issue, considering he busts Daddy Types for having hundreds of posts about buying stuff. {hey, as long as the links work] Besides, it's only 8 shopping days before Christmas, and like you, I have to go demonstrate my love for my child by buying tons of extraneous, expensive junk, even though she'd be happy with a box full of boxes.

Anyway, his whole post deserves reading (it's a little long; he's on the PhD track, remember. On the subject of child-rearing and the closing of the American frontier. Stay tuned.), but I want to highlight this excellent citation from the intro to Lydia Maria Child's 1830's-era The American Frugal Housewife[sic]

If you are about to furnish a house, do not spend all your money, be it much or little. Do not let the beauty of this thing, and the cheapness of that, tempt you to buy unnecessary articles.... It is only by experience that you can tell what will be the wants of your family...
Actually, I want to put it on a t-shirt and sell it to you for $15+2s&h, but all I got is a "daddy type" t-shirt at the moment...

Consumer Parenting, or, How I Learned to Start Worrying and Love the Unisar Bebe Sounds Monitor [Scrivenings]
Buy The American Frugal Housewife at...what? It's free? Damn [project gutenberg]
All the items in that Caitlin Flanagan story [dt]


Ok, ok, maybe I didn't get the humor in that earlier post on Flanagan's piece, but this one is really nicely done.

Thanks for the link, and I plan to check in some--don't know if I'll so much be keeping you honest or just tempting myself with more gadgets and doodads.

For what it is worth, I'm David's wife and you happen to be on my bookmarks of places for kid's stuff. Keep the links going.

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