“What’cha doing, Daddy?” my 3-year old asked while I was in my home office, in front of my computer.
“I’m writing,” I said.
“Ah … yah. More like typing, I guess.”
My 3-year old looked at me. Then he smiled.
“Nah,” he said. “You’re making up words, Daddy.”
I looked at him.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
Mike Leonen lives in Seattle as a full-time father and husband. He used to be an award-winning journalist.
For more than 12 years, he wrote an average of two reports per day as correspondent of two daily newspapers, BusinessWorld and the Manila Chronicle. He wrote investigative reports for the Center for Investigative Journalism and served as editor of two community newspapers, the Seattle Press and the Baguio City Digest. Recently, he served as managing editor of YES magazine, a quarterly magazine based in Bainbridge Island, WA.
Then he stopped writing and editing.
"Daddy, are you frustrated?” “Ah … no, I’m not,” I told my 3-year old.
“So why are you saying, Hmp!”
“Don’t say, Hmp!, Daddy,” he explained. “That’s rude. I’ll give you timeout.”
Mike called timeout for two reasons: his 3-year old and 1-year old sons. He wanted to take care of them, hopefully channeling skills he learned as an award-winning journalist to skills needed to become a good parent.
Mike, as a journalist, won three major awards for writing investigative reports and news features in his home country. One report—together with other reports written by other investigative journalists—documented alleged graft and corrupt practices of impeached Philippine President Joseph Estrada. Another report led to congressional inquiries into national energy development policies.
Still another report, a series of news features, led to the listing of the degrading Banaue Rice Terraces in the World Heritage List.
“Awards?” my 3-year old asked.
"Yes,” I said.
“It’s like a reward.”
“Were you a good boy?”
“Oh, I know,” my 3-year old said, grinning. “Maybe you went to the potty.”
Something About Parenting, a collection of stories, tips and comments about parenting, is Mike’s first attempt at blogging. He also maintains a photo blog, www.mikeleonen.com, a collection of his digital artworks—from sketches and illustrations to digital paintings and photography.
"Daddy, are you done computering?”
“Yes, I am.”