The Adventures of Greg Spence Wolf

Thoughts on Parenting 

One of the first days I was watching my stepson, back in fall 2013 I was doing dishes in the kitchen when a friend called to ask for advice. My four year old stepson was making a blanket, stuffed animal fort over the living room furniture. That was one of his favorite activities.

My friend asked me what the commotion was in the background and I explained that he was playing and having a blast.

She said, "Ah, childcare." To which I replied.


He loved making forts out of blankets and pillows. He loved pillow fights. At times it seemed childish, but then again, why shouldn't children be a little childish.


I had a good relationship with my stepson. But our wake up routine was challenging.

I remember all the different strategies I used to persuade my son to get out of bed.

One family member told me to drag em out. I decided that I wasn't going to push his feet out of bed as I was told, and instead that I would persuade him to get up. This is easier said than done.
One caretaker used to remove his blankets, so I tried that. This often led to a defensive reaction and then to me rationalizing the action. Ultimately, it all seemed too abrupt and I eventually figured out a two new ways to get a stubborn kid up and excited about the day.

After years of realizing I had an oppositional approach as well. I tried using low intrest but interesting videos, like folk music. I found that this created a more relaxing mood and less resistance to getting up.I used to wake up to the radio as a grade schooler and up. With my son, a music video that isn't a favorite of his, but is still good, put him in a good mood and bred a more cooperative attitude. 

The other strategy was to offer a reward for getting up on time, usually a snack after school. I raised the bar by a minute each day, so that the child became more self disciplined and was more likely to look at getting up positively. 

At one time, this was working so well that we were early enough for school one day that we got the treat before school.




My stepsons Dad is so afraid of his ex-wife that he knocked on the door of our apartment and was gone by the time I opened the door to let his son in. The frst time he droppd off his son, I went outside to rceive them, and I was yelled at from thirty feet away that I was violating his privacy. I tough that I was waiting for a four year old child in the most responsible manner possible, IE, keeping the child and the dropping off parent in my line of sight. I am an experienced preschool worker and beieve that four year olds need to be in an adults line of sight when outdoors in the evening especially.

When I brought in the child and explained what happened, another family member said, "____ is an asshole." I aepted that definition of the situation at the time because I just got yelled at for no reason. But what I didn't realize at the time is that the other father was feeling harassed by my at the time fiancee, his exwife.


Mental mistreatment or emotional abuse is deliberately causing mental or emotional pain. Examples include intimidation, coercion, ridiculing, harassment, treating an adult like a child, isolating an adult from family, friends, or regular activity, use of silence to control behavior, and yelling or swearing which results in mental distress.



Accusing, blaming, and denial 

This behavior comes from an abuser’s insecurities. They want to create a hierarchy in which they’re at the top and you’re at the bottom. 

Here are some examples: 

Jealousy. They accuse you of flirting or cheating on them. 
Turning the tables. They say you cause their rage and control issues by being such a pain. 
Denying something you know is true. An abuser will deny that an argument or even an agreement took place. This is called gaslighting. It’s meant to make you question your own memory and sanity. 
Using guilt. They might say something like, “You owe me this. Look at all I’ve done for you,” in an attempt to get their way. 
Goading then blaming. Abusers know just how to upset you. But once the trouble starts, it’s your fault for creating it. 
Denying their abuse. When you complain about their attacks, abusers will deny it, seemingly bewildered at the very thought of it. 
Accusing you of abuse. They say you’re the one who has anger and control issues and they’re the helpless victim. 
Trivializing. When you want to talk about your hurt feelings, they accuse you of overreacting and making mountains out of molehills. 
Saying you have no sense of humor. Abusers make personal jokes about you. If you object, they’ll tell you to lighten up. 
Blaming you for their problems. Whatever’s wrong in their life is all your fault. You’re not supportive enough, didn’t do enough, or stuck your nose where it didn’t belong. 
Destroying and denying. They might crack your cell phone screen or “lose” your car keys, then deny it.


I want equality for step parents in divorces. 

Even though I have not been a legally engaged stepdad for almost three years, I still worry about my kids. I still wonder if they are upset about something that happened at school. I still wonder if they need help with homework. I still want them to go to the doctor and dentist, just like my parents did after I moved out. 

I know their Mom loves them and is smart enough to keep them safe and happy. But I know I put them first whenever I could for five and a half years. And I believe that it takes a village to raise a child. I also believe that continuity is healthy. 

When a step parent divorces they are considered free of this responsibility. And if the step parent wants to help their kids because that's what they have devoted the last five years of their life to, their previous commitments are considered irrelevant unless they can prove the biological parents are bad parents. It doesn't matter how much the step parent benefited the step child. It only matters how the biological parents feel about the child's relationship with the parent.

She's A Good Wife 

She's a Good Wife

And she don't let me down

She's a good wife, 

She keeps me safe and sound.

So she's the one I want to have around.

When this cold world knocks me down, 

She lifts my spirits up off the ground, 

With kind words that can stop a frown.

She holds me in her arms so tight,

I'll keep her safe and warm all night          

And give her every delight she gives me and more

I'll give her a love worth living for,

That's for sure.


I ain't saying that I'm always right,

And when she points it out she's not looking for a fight

She'll work it out

Day or night.


We might get mad, but I won't make her sad

I'll rarely be bad, I hope that she's glad

That she took me into her life

I'll be glad to reduce her pain and strife

That's right.

© Greg Spence Wolf 1 / 22 / 2021



Socially shared poetry 

Kristin Ellisonoslin

 Well ordered coup executed in US.

Defeated by capital police who saved the lives they sought,

Pence, who should 25 Amend. Trump.


I Ride My Bicycle 


Round and round the town we go on our bicycles,

Round and round our pedals go, moving fast, moving slow,

Up and down the hills we go, huffing, puffing as we go,

Riding to the greatest places you could want to go.


I ride my bicycle to work every day,

And I take my bicycle, home every night,

Dealing with cars, who get in my way, and,

Dealing with potholes left and right.


And, when I ride, my bicycle at night.

I use a handle bar head light.

So I can see where I'm going.


I ride my bicycle to the grocery store,

And I take my bicycle, when I run my chores,

Dealing with drivers who yell, get out of the way,

Because they think I ride my bike real slow.


I try to ride, my bicycle really safe because,

I don't think that roads are safe for race.

I watch out for cars, cuz cars are dangerous,

I watch out for trucks, cuz trucks endanger us,

I keep my eyes upon the road.


Round and Round the country we go, on our bicycles,

Round and round our wheels go, clicking, ticking as they go,

Up and down the hills we go, building muscles as we go,

Riding to the greatest places you could want to go.


Lyrics By Greg Spence Wolf and Paul Glover Music By Greg Spence Wolf




Vuelta y vuelta a la ciudad vamos en nuestras bicicletas,

Alrededor y alrededor de nuestros pedales van,

moviéndose rápido, moviéndose lento, Arriba y abajo de las colinas vamos,

huffing, soplando a medida que avanzamos,

Cabalgando a los mejores lugares a los que podrías querer ir.


Voy en bicicleta al trabajo todos los días,

Y tomo mi bicicleta, a casa todas las noches,

Tratando con los coches, que se me mete en mi camino, y,

Tratando con baches a izquierda y derecha.

Y, cuando ando, mi bicicleta por la noche.

Yo uso una luz de la cabeza del manillar.


Así puedo ver adónde voy.

Voy en bicicleta a la tienda de comestibles,

Y tomo mi bicicleta, cuando dirijo mis tareas, T

ratando con conductores que gritan, inging de la manera,

Porque creen que ando en bicicleta muy despacio.

Trato de montar, mi bicicleta muy segura porque,

No creo que los caminos sean seguros para la carrera.

Cuído los coches, porque los coches son peligrosos,

Cuído a los camiones, porque los camiones nos ponen en peligro,

Mantenlo mis ojos en el camino.

Vuelta y vuelta al país vamos, en nuestras bicicletas,

Alrededor y alrededor de nuestras ruedas van, haciendo clic, marcando sobre la marcha,

Arriba y abajo de las colinas vamos, construyendo músculos a medida que avanzamos,

Cabalgando a los mejores lugares a los que podrías querer ir.


Translated by Microsoft Word


How We Are Divided Politically 

     We are divided politically by people using the media to stir up fear and hate for the purposes benfitting themselves by putting themselves on top of the feud.

Most of the memes posted online by people are fed to them by Facebook in order to start arguments. They use emotionally charged talking points that don't encourage critical thinking but instead work to encourage blame.

One meme showed a veteran with an amputated foot.  It said, "I bet none of you kneelers are gonna get this vet a new leg."

  • It wasn't a link to a fundraiser. 
  • It wasn't an information picture about what injured vets need. 
  • It wasn't a critique of Colin Kapaernick. 

It was posted by my neighbor who is constantly drunk and looking for an argument. 

Memes that tap into your hurt feelings are looking for an argument, but not a constructive debatre. 

Memes that say, "I bet you won't share this." are looking for an argument, not to further a cause, not to raise money for a charity. 

It completely ignores the fact that Kapaernick's kneeling was about Treyvon Martin and other Black people murdered by bigots. Colin Kaepernick's kneeling is not an antiwar protest. 

Misinformation is being removed from Facebook, which might help. 

The other media source that intentionally divides people is Republican Party radio and Fox news.

They use:

Misinformation (Limbaugh denying COVID-19 and saying it was like the flu)


-When FOX News ranteed on and on during the weeks mleading up to the midterms, about immigrants who are refugees from extreme poverty and painting them as thugs. 

Encouraging Violence

-When Tucker Carlson makes an excuse for political violence done against people he disagrees with. Like his rationalization for Kyle Rittenhouse's shooting of non-violent Black Lives Matter protesters. 

It is hard ti debate politics when the people you are talking to think murder is okay against political protesters. 

MSNBC uses the script in less extreme ways against Republicans. 

I like when MSNBC interviews progressives like Warren and Sanders. 

But I hate their opinion pieces about Republicans that repeat an opinion for five minutes. 

And when they slam Trump for being weak on military. They are partisanly encouraging war. Not because we need to be at war, but because they want the other party to look bad to voters. 

When MSNBC does this, they sound like Republican partisans to me. I wish I could play the videos on both FOX and MSNBC for the opposing sides so they can see how they are being manipulated at specific times for specific reasons. 

We are so divided in our information that most Republicans don't know that during the Capitol Hill riot Trump was watching it on TV, and didn't call in the National Guard. Republicans who are elected to office feel they need their president to win so badly so that the party ticket can win and carry them to victory. This forces them to put party over country and the world and be more likely to allow a bad decision by their president to go uncritiqued. 

How do you have a debate when one side doesn't hold their leaders accountable for anything because they either don't want to do the intellectual work of understanding others. Or because people who own media have a vested interest in manipulating their emotions for partisan and or personal political gain.


Watch The Buffalo Walking Down The Road 

One day in Yellowstone 

The buffalo filled up the road 

Someone took a film and shared it on the web 

So we could watch the Buffalo roam down the road. 

Please watch the Buffalo walking slow down the road 

Mellow buffalo moving slowly down the road 

Wait and yield because this is their home where we built the road 

The land where the buffalo roam 

© Greg Spence Wolf 

Courtesy of Sioux @native_sioux on Twitter.

"Your Voice" by Paulette C Wolf 

Your Voice 

by Paulette C. Wolf 

Spider web or pressure cooker -- 

          Any other choice? 

No matter where you go, there’s no interest in your voice. 

          They only want to see how you fit in their web -- 

          As you smile they’ll suck your blood until they’re well-fed. 

          If your faith gives you 

a roof, hot water and bed, 

          be active in your space or you’ll be cooked to lead. 

          If the pressure cooker doesn’t get you, chemicals flood your innards, 

or your own inactivity melts your words. 

          The only road to sanity is to begin  

          to hear your own voice and face your needs within. 

          Then direct that voice without 

(no need to shout) 

          to meet the needs of others  

from where you are not in doubt.

Janis Ian Speaks Out on Being Blacklisted by convicted rapist bill cosby when she was 16 years old.. 

Thank you all for the response to my "Cosby memory". Someone pointed out that by starting it with the New York Magazine link, people sharing it would only be able to share the link, not the text. So here it is again, with a different format.  

The photos are of me, at 16, on the Smothers Brothers show. They're here so anyone sharing will be able to share the text as well. The link to the New York Magazine piece is And here's my memory: 

Do I have a stake in this issue? Yes. Of course. Outside of being female, outside of knowing women aren't "heard" as loudly as men are heard, outside of firmly believing that if women were treated equally around the world, many if not all of the world's problems would no longer exist - outside of all that... I have a personal stake. 

No, I was not sexually bothered by Bill Cosby. We met because he was curious about me. 

My song "Society's Child" was climbing the charts and creating a great deal of controversy. The Smothers Brothers took a huge gamble and had me on their hit television show. I was just sixteen years old when we taped it. I'd been on the road for months, doing press and one-nighters. My chaperone/tour manager, a family friend six or seven years older than me, was doing everything in her power to make sure I was protected and getting as much rest as possible. 

Remember. I was sixteen. Still in high school. Fairly naive, including about my own sexuality. For months on the road, my chaperone was the only consistent face I saw. Everyone else was a complete stranger - radio personalities, newspaper reporters, magazine photographers, audiences, promoters, disc jockeys, all strangers. So I clung to my chaperone. 

We'd never been to a big-time TV taping. We had no idea we'd have to be inside from early early morning until whenever they called for me. There were only a couple of chairs for us on the set - I was pretty low on the totem pole, way lower than Jimmy Durante or Pat Paulsen or Mason Williams (all of whom were wonderful to us). And I was exhausted. I'd been having nightmares for weeks, the result of the controversy surrounding "Society's Child" and the death threats I was receiving daily. I needed to sleep. So I fell asleep in my chaperone's lap. She was earth motherly, I was scared. It was good to rest. 

We taped the show. I had a ball. (You can see it on Youtube, in fact. That's me, looking scared, in the green dress. My friend Buffy from East Orange, where I'd started high school, made it for me. I treasured it.) Then we went back to New York, and I went back to school. 

A while later, my manager called me into her office. "What happened at the Smothers Brothers show?!" I had no idea what she was talking about, and said so. "Well, no one else on TV is willing to have you on. Not out there, anyway." Why? I wondered. And was told that Cosby, seeing me asleep in the chaperone's lap, had made it his business to "warn" other shows that I wasn't "suitable family entertainment", was probably a lesbian, and shouldn't be on television. 

Again, a reminder. I was 16. I'd never slept with a man, I'd never slept with a woman. Hell, I barely been kissed, and that in the middle of the summer camp sports area, next to the ping pong table. 

Banned from TV. Unbelievable. Bless Johnny Carson and his producer Freddy de Cordova, one of the nicest men I've ever worked with, because they didn't listen. Or maybe they didn't give a damn. I don't know. I do know that they broke the barrier Cosby tried to create and left me with an open invite to The Tonight Show. 

There's a lot to bother a sensible person about this. The years these women were ignored. The years they were derided. That the story finally really "broke" because a male comedian named Hannibal Buress kept bringing it up, kept calling Cosby a "rapist". Not because woman after woman after woman went to the police, to the press, to anyone who'd listen, with horribly similar stories. 

Let me be snarky for a moment. Interesting that there are so few women of color in the New York Magazine photo. Interesting that the ones in the photo all appear to be light-skinned. Perhaps darker skinned women have not come forward yet? Perhaps they're among the other 12 women who've accused him but aren't pictured? 

Or perhaps not. I have to wonder if this rapist has some issues with his own race. 

Continuing the snarkiness, I find it horrifying that his wife is still insisting it was all consensual. That she sounds more upset by "the invasion of privacy" than the rapes. 

People seem to be confused because she continues to stand by him. I have just two words for that - money, honey. According to the press, she's his manager, and has been for years. And his "business manager", eg the person who handles the money. So if there were pay-offs, she saw the checks. She is complicit. 

If it was consensual, why pay anyone to be silent? 

If it was consensual, why are there so many women who do not want money, who do not need fame, who are by turns ashamed, violated, exposed, vulnerable, and still continue to speak out? 

Cosby was right in one thing. I am gay. Or bi, if you prefer, since I dearly loved the two men I lived with over the years. My tilt is toward women, though, and he was right about that. 

But what an odd thing, that a black man who slept with so very many white women chose to take my possible lesbianism away from our one meeting, rather than the message I tried to get across with "Society's Child." How pathetic. How truly, truly pathetic. 

Janis Ian

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