Fun family life with a toddler

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This week we are joined by Family of the Week Hannah, 31, and Alex Wilson, 31 and their 22-month-old Imogen Wilson. The couple, who live in Alwoodley, have been together for about 14 years and married for five. Hannah works in HR at an accountancy firm and Alex is a technical support team manager in the energy industry.

What are your top tips for getting children to do what you ask? You can get children to do what you ask? Generally Imogen is quite well behaved as she is really interested in helping and contributing at the moment. When she isn’t you either have to bite the bullet and know a tantrum is coming or bribe her with snacks or a soft toy.

What family task takes you the longest? The end to end routine of upstairs, bath, milk, story, bed consistently takes about an hour.

What’s the weirdest thing your children have done/brought home/done to your house? Imogen adopts a ‘down dog’ yoga pose quite frequently and wants you to shake her hand through her legs. I’ve no idea where this came from.

Have your children ever really, really surprised you? How and why? One day Imogen climbed the stairs after showing no interest before.

What’s the most bizarre thing you have found yourself saying since having kids? I’ve found myself saying words like Imogen does (which is basically just baby babble!); I once did it at work! Either that or “Don’t you like having cake on your feet?”

What’s the funniest thing your children have ever said/done? Crawled into the little cat house we have that the cat sleeps in, stood up and had it stuck over her shoulders.

Mini moan - what really gets your goat? Having to sort out the Duplo, Lego, Mega Blocks and wooden blocks that started out in four boxes and somehow are now all scattered across the lounge.

What’s your favourite family day out? Imogen loves animals. Anywhere we can feed ducks or see animals. Harewood, Lotherton, Roundhay, Golden Acre, Meanwood Farm and None Go Bye Farm are all regular haunts.

What hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy as a family and separately? Together we’re easily pleased. The park or a walk somewhere. Alex takes Imogen to the Leeds Dads and mum has a rest. Alex likes computer games, sampling new and interesting ales, baking and putting on his Social Secretary hat for Leeds Dads. Hannah likes a good book or girly TV show (Daddy leaves the room at this point) or meeting friends for dinner.

What’s the hardest thing about being a parent? Probably trying to teach kids discipline. It’s heart breaking to see their face when you tell them off. Or if you’re Alex, putting dungarees on Imogen the right way around.

What’s a typical evening for the grown-ups once the children are in bed? Aside from tidying up Toy Mountain, one of us will cook dinner, then we will either watch something together or go our separate ways for a couple of hours (we have very different taste in TV for the most part!)

What is Leeds’ most family-friendly restaurant and why? We don’t often end up in restaurants too often as a family now I think about it. We’ve been to Banyan, Kith & Kin, the cafe at Roundhay and various pubs. As long as they have high chairs and a baby change (that dads can access too!) then we’re usually happy.

What’s the best thing about weekends and why? Being able to get up half an hour later than normal. Lie ins are a thing of the past! There’s often something that one or both of us want to do which can lead to some one on one time with Imogen which is nice. We also make the most of Sunday night now as Imogen stays with Nanna and Granddad. We get the chance to have ‘date night’ which we haven’t done for a few years until recently.

What is your most treasured memory? More of an item than a memory but Alex got a mug with Imogen’s hand print on for his first Fathers Day. It has been used multiple times a day since! Hannah will forever treasure the look on Alex’s face from when she announced she was pregnant.

What’s the number one thing you would change about Leeds? Public transport - it’s so time consuming and expensive to get anywhere. An underground system would be lovely!

What’s the children’s favourite food/meal? Chicken and Mushroom Risotto!

What’s your top penny-pinching tip? Stop Hannah putting the heating on in July.

One family member’s proudest achievement? I’m going to say a joint one of the house we live in. We both work hard and progressed our careers so we could buy the house we wanted.

What one item can you not live without? The kettle - we both rely on regular cups of Yorkshire Tea to make it through the day.

What can your children not live without? Her comforter called ‘Nelly’ who is sort of an elephant’s head with a blanket attached. I fear the day that Nelly suddenly disappears.

Child’s favourite book and author. Where’s Bear by Emily Gravett or The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.