It’s play time with the Zanetti’s

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Clare and Pete Zanetti have been married four year years. Both 40, they live in Horsforth with Clare’s three children to previous marriage - Dom 15, Kris, 11 and Sam 8. They have Phoebe aged four (pictured) and a surprise baby due in October. They own and manage Tiny Toes Playcentre in Horsforth.

What are your top tips for getting children to do what you ask?

The older ones are fine but when they were little it was just encouragement such as ‘wow - what a big boy you are getting dressed by yourself’. Just make even the most boring task sound fun. It is all in the tone of the voice and when all else fails – chocolate buttons do the trick.

What family task takes you the longest?

Getting everyone to be in the right place at the right time – such as school and childminders. In September we will have four children at four different schools so need to be super organised.

What’s the most bizarre thing you have found yourself saying since having kids?

How much for a pair of school shoes

What’s the funniest thing your children have ever said/done?

Discussing what to do in an emergency situation – Scenario, if the kids found mum on the floor, older ones of course say they call 999 and get help. Phoebe– ‘what would you do if mummy was laid on the floor’ Phoebe’s response: “Trip up of course”

Mini moan - what really gets your goat?

Manners. Please and thankyous. Working in a customer service environment around children it surprises me how much children remember their manners and the grown-ups seem to forget.

What’s your favourite family day out?

Good food in an amazing family friendly restaurant (preferably Italian) as Pete is from an Italian family and likes cooking – he always likes to have a nosey and pinch ideas. Oh and the kids love Italian ice cream.

What hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy as a family and separately?

Boys typically love computers, Kris loves football, Sam loves airplanes. Pete is obsessed with his garden at the moment and it is blooming with flowers. We are lucky to live in a fantastic family friendly area with loads of families so spend a lot of time at home having barbeques with family, friends and neighbours.

What’s the hardest thing about being a parent?

The exhaustion. Having to do homework when all you want is to have a bubble bath.

What’s a typical evening for the grown-ups once the children are in bed?

Summer months we tend to sit in the garden with a glass of much needed Prosecco but in the winter we are so tired from the madness of Tiny Toes we are very much feet up and flop.

What is Leeds’ most family-friendly restaurant and why?

Trattoria Il Forno on Horsforth Town Street. We were their first ever customers and they do the most amazing pizzas. We don’t get there often to eat in but they do great take outs.

What is your most treasured memory?

Pete and I met at school when we were six. Did not see him after leaving high school but he got in touch with me in Oct 2009 when we both had come out of long term relationships. We had a first drunken date and the rest went from there!

What’s the number one thing you would change about Leeds?

Nothing, we live in an amazing city. The kids have every opportunity available to them when they are older and I love the vibrancy

What’s the children’s favourite food/meal?

With four children it is difficult having something that they all like. Fish and chips always a winner!

What’s your top penny-pinching tip?

Hand me down clothes. Always great when you have same sex children.

What one item can you not live without?

My handbag. I have everything in it tissues, letters from school, dummies. A proper Mary Poppins bag.

What can your children not live without?

Technology. Dom is a computer genius and even Phoebe downloads games on my phone.

Can you also tell me your child’s favourite book and author.

All the kids have loved Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.

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