Tonawanda News


April 22, 2013

CRIB NOTES: What's in a name? Far less than parents think


Now, I knew from the first time I heard “Penny Lane” in high school I wanted to name my first daughter that. It’s a cool song, and how many of us are lucky enough to even be in a spot to name their child after an all-time great song? It wasn’t even a matter of fandom. It was the obligation of doing it because I could.

Once we knew another child was on the way, we decided to keep the theme going. Mommy and I listened to The Beatles more after Penny’s birth, becoming fans more so after the fact. So Rigby seemed to fit well (he probably would have been Lucy Diamond if he were a girl) and we went with it.

They knew their songs almost before they knew their own names. In fact, in the chorus, instead of Penny Lane, Penny would sing “mmmeeeeeee” any time we played it. And Rigby would ask for his song (”Eleanor Rigby,” in case you never figured it out) to be played on an endless loop. So their names took on a double-meaning of sorts, an association with music they’d otherwise be years from discovering (if kids in the 21st century even discover The Beatles — or any older music — anymore).

As such, while I ordinarily leave the kids free to like most anything that suits their tastes, I could not — NOT — let this slide quite so easily.

“Sweetie, this was the first song you knew. You used to sing it. You loved it.”

“Well, Daddy, I just don’t anymore,” she said, her hair flailing about as she began shaking her head with the fervor of someone being force-fed liverwurst. “They’re just no good. NO GOOD.”

Sigh. Kids these days.

I figured there was no point in furthering her anguish, so we moved on.  I can’t compel the kids to like anything, after all. Even something as near and dear to Dear Ol’ Dad as the origins of my kids’ names. There’s no accounting for taste, and I have to let Penny and Rigby develop their own tastes, however inaccurate those tastes may be.

“OK, sweetie. No sweat. What WOULD you like to listen to, then?”

“Um, I don’t know. Can you see if you can find the thrift store song?”

ContactPaul Laneat




Text Only
  • SUN LIFE Open gardens 1 072014.jpg Stop and smell the flowers

    More than 90 private gardens throughout Western New York, and a number of public ones, are open to the public for select hours Thursdays and/or Fridays during July as part of the National Garden Festival’s Open Gardens program, now in its fifth year. The program is separate and distinct from local garden walks, and the gardens range from Gasport to Holland. They’re organized into districts of about five to eight gardens each, including Northtowns West (which includes gardens in Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda) and Niagara Trail (which includes gardens in Lockport, Gasport and Lewiston).

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE terrariums 1 072014.jpg For the love of nature

    Sara Johnson lives surrounded by green and growing things. Showing a visitor around her apartment in North Buffalo, she pointed out the plants in every room, the balcony and even in two small greenhouses — houseplants, flowers, vegetables, even carnivorous plants.

    "I try to keep as much growing in the house as I can," she said.

    Another goal of hers is to show others how to do the same — and to that end, Johnson is offering a series of workshops this summer in connection with her business, Sylvatica Terrariums, and Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda, teaching people how to bring a piece of the outdoors into their homes in the form of a terrarium or other greenery.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE fresh air 1 072014.JPG Getting some fresh air

    As an effort to get children out of the big city and give them a chance to spend part of their summer playing outside, the Fresh Air Fund brings New York City kids to stay with host families for a 10-day trip to a place which is vastly different from their usually surroundings.

    “They will be running outside and playing in the grass and going swimming,” said Cheryl Flick, a fund representative of the Northern Erie and Niagara Counties chapter of the Fresh Air Fund at a picnic for the host families and kids. “They won’t be cooped up inside, they’ll be outside, getting fresh air and being active.”

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - SUN LIFE double trouble 2014.jpg Still waiting for that letter from Hogwarts

    I think it’s true of many parents, that amidst the many challenges and hard work of parenting, we anticipate the day our children grow up just enough ... to like the same things we like, whether it’s as an ongoing phenomenon or a fond childhood memory.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Calling all the basic locavores!

    Did you know that the suffix “vore” comes from the Latin word “voro,” which means to devour? I probably knew that once, but I should have paid better attention in my Latin class. “Vore” is used to form nouns indicating what kind of a diet an animal has, such as omnivore, carnivore and herbivore.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE NT tours 071314.jpg A closer look at NT

    When Explore Buffalo Tours got started about eight months ago, the business concentrated on specialized tours designed to showcase specific aspects of the City of Buffalo’s history, architecture and culture.

    Now the organization is looking to the future and trying out ways to highlight the other unique aspects of the Western New York region. The tours change out each month, but the more popular ones will circulate back in, according to Explore Buffalo Executive Director Brad Hahn. This month it’s test-driving its “North Tonawanda: Lumber City” tour, one of only a few to take place outside the City of Buffalo. (Although a Lockport tour is in the works.)

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFEe exercise 2 071314.jpg Fitness in the sun

     Following a trend of public, outdoor exercise programs, a number of local venues are offering their own free events aiming to get residents outside and active during the summer.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE muscoreils 1 071314.jpg Beyond the bakery

    For years, Muscoreil’s Fine Desserts & Gourmet Cakes has been a go-to location for desserts and wedding and occasion cakes in Western New York.

    This summer, even as the bakery deals with the rush of wedding season, changes at its associated bistro aim to create a revitalized focus on that side of the business, as well.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - Crib Notes 2014 RGB.jpg Figuring out the birthday-party rules

    The options when you escort your child to a birthday party are endless, really. Everywhere you turn, there’s another thrill to uncover.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB The tail of two books

    As promised, here are some more new summer reads that are all about our critter companions. Both books were released mid-June, and although they are quite different from one another, both would be valuable assets for your in-house library.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo