Being Raised By Wolves Would’ve Been Better

Or, “In Which the Stepchildren Did not Behave as Well as My Dogs” 

Or, “The Back Story to ‘In Which the Stepson Shat in the Backyard”



Raised by Wolves – Or Worse

29 June 2013


So, my girlfriend, Sherry, is a fabulous educator and an even better blogger.  Check out


But, I digress.


This week, Sherry, thumbed through her binder of recipes and came across one for Rhubarb Pie that I emailed.  Above the recipe, however, was this:

“’Who would’ve thought the phrase, “he’s and ass—-, just a Goddamn ass—–‘ would apply to an eleven year-old? Oh, that’s right, you’re a middle school principal.  It may have crossed your mind.”


Those sweet sentences prompted Sherry to post a blog about my MIM’s (misadventure in marriage) son titled “In Which the Stepson has Shat in the Backyard.”


Naturally, as the stepmother, I not only had to clean up the shit, but also was blamed for the shit.  (Really? I lived there for less than a month and saw him two weekends.  His parents had the kid for his whole lifetime.  Can you really blame me?)


Here’s the backstory:


I packed up all of my worldly possessions in my home with 2-1/2 bathrooms, said “goodbye” to my friends and traveled to Altadena to live in a home with ONE bathroom, three stepsons, and a BONA (Balding Obese Narcissistic Alcoholic).  (In my defense, I didn’t know he was an alcoholic when we married nor did I understand narcissism. 


Did I mention the 1,100 square foot house did not have air conditioning?  Altadena is near Pasadena. 


Having lived in Altadena and hosted the boys on the weekends, I’d had my cooking criticized.  My macaroni and cheese was actually macaroni pasta with cheese. . .it didn’t come from a blue box.  My pasta had green things in it – you know, things like oregano.  The butter was unsalted. . .therefore, mealtime was a production with the oldest pouring salt onto his food. 


Again, I digress.


In an effort to feed the children without criticism or production, I purchased their mother’s sauce (in a jar at the market) for spaghetti.


Did I mention I was alone with the children?  The MIM worked long hours in the film industry.


After boiling spaghetti and heating the PREGO, the house was sweltering.  I knew I had reached Dante’s seventh layer of hell.  There was no turning back.


“Children,” I called, “outside.  We’re having a picnic in the front yard.”  We couldn’t use our backyard because it was filled with the screens used in the airport scene of Meet the Fockers.  Did I mention the MIM was a hoarder, too?


So, there we were. . .three charming children and me eating spaghetti on a sheet in the front yard on Shelley Street in Alatadena, California.  Incidentally, we were the only white family on the street.  We gave new meaning to WHITE TRASH.


To manage the feeding frenzy, I suggested, “Oh, eat like you were raised by wolves.”




The next morning . . . the MIM, gone again.  The children, watching cartoons.  Me, needing a shower.


I announced, “I’m taking a shower.  I’ll be in there for about twenty minutes. If you need to use the powder room, do it now.”


Dora the Explorer or some other God-forsaken cartoon had them mesmerized.


I showered.


I walked into the living room, “Anyone need the powder room?”


One child said, “No, I went.”






“Number one, right?  You peed outside, right?”


“No, I pooped.”


Just like I did with my dogs, Gorby, a Samoyed, and Midas, a Golden Retriever, who also had the misfortune of moving with me, I took a plastic bag, cleaned it up, and called the MIM.  He called the ex.  She explained it was all my fault.


The child said, “She told us to act like we were raised by wolves.”

About Julie Hooker

I'm a teacher, writer, and editor. In addition, I'm an animal rescuer, yogi, and friend.
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