The iNanny


With all due respect to Steve Jobs, as brilliant as he was, I don’t think he ever imagined the power that his iPad would have on society, especially on children. This machine has become my on-call assistant, always ready to entertain my little one, without complaining or asking for a pay increase.

Nonetheless, as convenient as the iPad has proven to be, last week I had a close encounter with the adverse effects of this appliance on my son’s behavior. This made me realize something I already knew, but had forgotten for a while: nothing can replace me in my son’s life.  Well… for now that he is five years old, of course. Continue reading “The iNanny”

Olympic Mom

Xiomara Spadafora Love of Gold-001

I have been an Olympics fanatic since I was a little girl. Therefore, last Friday I watched the entire inaugural ceremony of the Rio 2016 Summer Games, and besides learning Brazilian history and a bunch of new country names, I also learned that “Super Model Cat-Walk on High Heels” had became a new sports discipline at the Maracana Stadium.

Kidding aside, over the weekend I watched different competitions of men and women’s cycling, beach volleyball, gymnastics, and swimming, the latter, the sport of Dana Vollmer. This amazing athlete–Gold Medalist of the 100 meters butterfly at the 2012 London Games–returned to the pool to defend her gold and world record. However, she was defeated by Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström, and Canada’s Penny Oleksiak, both 16. Continue reading “Olympic Mom”

Building Blocks for Greatness

Xiomara Spadafora Building Blocks

For the past two and a half years I have been buying my son Lego sets, age appropriate or not. Secretly, I bought them for myself, because I missed out on the experience when I was a kid. Finally, in the past week, my son fell in love with them and has spent hours playing during the last days of the summer vacation before he starts kindergarten.

Although he plays well most of the time, he is a little impatient and complaints if his Lego creations don’t cause intergalactic explosions. Then, I have to remind him to be thankful, telling him about the children all over the world who have nothing to play with, except what they can build with their own hands out of garbage. This is Esteban Quispe’s story; the seventeen-year-old genius from Bolivia who build a robot like Disney’s Wall-E out of waste from a dump. Continue reading “Building Blocks for Greatness”

Re-hab: The New Vacation

Xiomara Spadafora Rehab Cool Vacation

Last Saturday my husband and I went to dinner with a couple of friends—first time in over a month. Work has been quite busy, so going out felt as though we were prisoners seeing the light after years of imprisonment. We caught up with each other’s lives and our kids’ funny stories, and then we passed on  to somebody else’s heartbreaking reality.

We found out that a mutual acquaintance’s daughter was in re-hab for prescription drug abuse that led to an overdose qualified as attempted suicide. She is only seventeen years old. Continue reading “Re-hab: The New Vacation”


Xiomara Spadafora Jaws

Summer arrived and so did it my desperate attempt to entertain my son during the weeks that he won’t have camps. I used to feel guilty for letting him watch too much TV or iPad. Not anymore. “Nanny iPad” gets charged every night and it’s ready for action every morning without complaining or asking for a raise!

Kidding aside, it makes me sad that my son is growing up glued to a screen and away from our families. Instead of playing all summer long with his cousins and aunts and uncles like my husband and I did when we were kids, my little man has to either play with me, or make new friends every time we go to the community amenities. Usually it goes well, but last Thursday, I almost ended up in the 6:00 p. m. news for child endangerment. Continue reading “Jaws”

Fish Killer

Xiomara Spadafora Fish Killer

Last Wednesday I fell into my little boy’s trap, and I bought him three fishies—which he named Steve, Dave, and Robert–and a snail—named Spady. He had been begging for an aquarium for a long time, but the thought of another live being under my responsibility haunted me. In the end, my son’s beautiful eyes–same as his Daddy’s–shot me in my Achilles’ heel and I gave in.

Forty- five dollars later—50% off from $90–we left the pet store with everything but the fishes. Elaine, the attendant, told us we had to set up the tank first. I should have known then that this was not going to be easy. Continue reading “Fish Killer”

High as a kite!

IMG_0207Last Thursday, my dogs Rusty and Sasha, had the “trip” of their lives. Since dogs get very distressed during dental cleanings, they had to be put under anesthesia, and I don’t blame them. When I go to the dentist I always ask for the laughing gas to take the edge off; otherwise, I too, would bite the dental hygienist!

When I picked them up at four p.m., they were still pretty drugged-up and acting really strange, especially Rusty. I walked them outside the vet’s building for a few minutes so they could breathe some air, and then we drove home. Continue reading “High as a kite!”