Have. You. Seen. The Silver Cross pram? Ahuh. I mean, come on. I saw a baby in one of those last Tuesday and — I have to confess — I needed a changing after seeing it. I mean I was so completely JEALOUS. What a good time to be a child. So many more things to love with all your tiny, tiny heart. So many new things to see. And these days children can have their own CELL PHONES, so they can tell all their adorable thoughts to their adorable, adorable friends. What little secrets are you telling over there? Tell me!

Just think, the last time people drove their little darlings around in prams, people were getting black lung for Christmas. So it's refreshing to see our babies bundled around in a world of Baby Einstein and gluten-free diapers and, and — PROGRESS. And they all handle it so well, don't they? All of them in their little suits and dresses talking about, oh, whatever little world politics they learn about on their BabyBlackberries. And I think that's probably because we, as adults, do such a good job of protecting our angels from the harsh realities of the “real world.”

Why, how would those wee ones with peanut allergies have ever made it a hundred years ago had we not kept them in a little warm bubble of safety? They wouldn't have! They'd have been eaten by boars! (Boars were the primary cause of infant mortality until the 1950s, everybody knows that.)

Is it possible we can give them even more? Can we extend the holidays so those wonderful big SMILES don't ever fade from those darling little faces? Then they'll never have to grow up and learn about unfortunate things like wars and ozone. It makes me tear up just thinking about that poor special baby that will someday take its last ride in that Silver Cross pram. But oh, that means there'd be room for me!

For the Holidays

1. The real deal. Legendary Santa returns to the Children's Museum of Richmond, starting Nov. 28 at 9 a.m. Through Dec. 24. 474-7000.

2. Children rule. “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” runs at Theatre IV Dec. 5 through Dec. 21. 282-2620.

3. Young at heart. Ukrops' 25th Annual Supervalu Christmas Parade runs eastbound on Broad Street, Dec. 6, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. www.richmondchristmasparade.org

4. Sugar plum fairies. “The Nutcracker” performed by the Richmond Ballet runs at the Landmark Theater Dec. 12-23. 646-4213. And the Concert Ballet of Virginia's “Nutcracker” runs through Dec. 21 at various spots. Check www.concertballet.com.

5. Tom Cruise loves kids, too. A cast of children performs in what's been called a “cult hit” (The New York Times) — “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant” at the Firehouse Theatre Dec. 18-Jan 18. $20. 355-2001.


I despise children. I recall the day it dawned on me. I was 7, though the feelings had been building for years. It's a dreadful memory, one I'd prefer to leave behind. But let's just say the experience involved a jar of paste, a red Hot Wheels car and a loudmouth, pudgy 6-year-old who had no self-discipline. Also, there were some feathers involved.

I tried to distance myself from my contemporaries, struggling with the knowledge that adults probably lumped me in with the lot of them. I can't blame them for generalizing. On the whole, children are rude, selfish and loud. They spend their days in unproductive, unpleasant activities. They delight in running around for no reason, or throwing balls at each other, or sliding on things. Worse, they are oblivious to how absurd they look. And the smells!
Bring me a martini, please. Dry. And keep the kids on another planet.

The holidays are especially difficult for me. Adults place children on a pedestal, even if they think so little of them during the rest of the year. Oh, look at the glorious innocence in their eyes! They put on a dopey grin while some horrible girl with scraggly locks sits on the knee of a fat man, asking for things! Buy my love, I'm 9, I deserve it!

For shame.

You can be one of the old fools, but not me. I've successfully distanced myself from kids and I'm not about to change for Christmas or anything else. I'm partying with the grownups. Population control, anyone? Adults need to remember they rule the world, not the other way around. Who needs Hot Wheels when you can buy the real thing?

For the Holidays

1. Comics for adults. Movie time. See “The Spirit,” an adaptation of Will Eisner's comic-book series, directed by Frank Miller. Opens Dec. 25.

2. Blood and mayhem. GWAR's annual New Year's Eve show at the National promises to filth you up one last time Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. 612-1900.

3. Rock it out. Y101 Snowball at the National with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Duchess of York and others, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. 612-1900.

4. Kid-free beer gardens. Bring in 2009 at Carytown's Annual New Year's Celebration Dec. 31, 7 p.m.-1 a.m.

5. No kids on the short bus. Richmond's First Ever Roots Music New Year's Spectacular features Jackass Flats, A Good Natured Riot, the Fox Hunt, Special Ed and the Shortbus. Dec. 31, the Canal Club. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. http://www.thecanalclub.com.





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