Clinica Sierra Vista WIC

Dear Reader

by Vaun Thygerson
Staff writer and mother of three
What is it about boys and bugs?  Lately, my two sons have been crazily preoccupied with insects and all things creepy and crawly.  Their somewhat lackadaisical interest in bugs turned into a full-blown obsession after a seemingly innocent trip to Insect Lore’s Bugseum in Shafter a few weeks ago.  The Bugseum has all kinds of interesting lady bugs, ants, butterflies, scorpions, and even tarantulas that fascinated them.  Along with their cousin, they ran from display to display trying to one-up-the-other-one on the gross-out factor.  Personally, my gross-o-meter hit max at the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach exhibit.            

We left Bugseum with some eerie creatures in tow that became their “pets.”  My youngest son nurtured five caterpillars, as they turned into butterflies that we set free in our backyard.  My older son is still waiting for his Chinese Praying Mantis egg to hatch 75 to 200 specimens.  And, my daughter couldn’t let the boys have all the fun.  She had to get their signature pink lady bugs that live in their own Lady Bug Land.

Summer is the perfect time to explore nature and its wonders, bugs and all.  Another pastime for your children during these carefree days that promotes learning and fun is attending camp.  Bakersfield has a lot of opportunities for camps of all kinds – art, theater, science, reading, and more.  Check out, “What’s Your Specialty:  Education, Science, Nature, & Technology Camps,” on page 11, the last article in our three-part series on summer camps.  This article features some local camps that focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics including the Kern County Museum, Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County, and Camp Invention.

Another worthwhile way to spend your dog days of summer is reading a book or encouraging your children to read.  Tracie Grimes’s monthly book review, “Reaching Reluctant Readers,” on page 15 discusses the differences in children’s ability and love for reading and how to inspire the less-than-a-bookworm-type child.  Some of the books she recommends for summer include “Faster! Faster!” by Leslie Patricelli, “Kingfisher Readers:  Colorful Coral Reefs” by Thea Feldman, and “Kingfisher Readers:  Weather” by Anita Ganeri.  This month, instead of a Mommy read, she gives Daddy a pick in honor of his special day.  A good manly read:  “Calico Joe” by John Grisham that is perfect for all baseball lovers!

Speaking of Dads, June marks an annual celebration of the men in our lives – dads, brothers, husbands, uncles.  To find out what kinds of fun things are happening in Kern County for Father’s Day, check out our Happenings Section beginning on page 16.  You can also visit our website,, for recipes to whip up a special dinner or dessert for them.  And, don’t forget to like us on Facebook at

For your monthly dose of humor, check out Tracie Grimes’s Humor at Home article, “So You Wanna’ Date my Teenage Daughter” on page 10.  She writes about her experiences as the mother to three teenage daughters.  She has fine-tuned an application process for prospective beaus that will surely weed out the duds.  She says enforcing this application can make the difference between them dating a Chet vs. a Bubba.

This month with all the bugs, boys, books, and science summer camps, you’re bound to have a ball.  Enjoy this first month off from school and remember to celebrate it with some of the most important boys in your life!  Happy Father’s Day!!!!

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