Meet our Family of the Week - data analyst Chris Sands and wife solicitor Laura Sands and their toddler daughter Anastasia Sands. We’ve been together for 11 years and are currently in the process of moving into Morley. Chris is part of the Leeds Dads support and social group.
What family task takes you the longest? Bedtime. Ana is a tough negotiator when it comes to bargaining how many stories she’s going to have, how many soft toys she’s going to have in bed, and just how much milk will fill her for the night.
What’s the funniest thing your children have ever said/done? We’re obviously trying to instil good manners, and when Ana said: “I want a drink” we asked what was missing. She perhaps misunderstood, answering: “my drink!”
Mini moan - what really gets your goat? Places assuming that parents alone with child are going to be mothers. I split the first year parental leave with Laura, and for six months I came across place after place with baby change in the ladies’ toilet, or classes for “baby and mum”. As a keen member of Leeds Dads I really hope that more places realise that paternity leave is getting more popular by the month.
What’s your favourite family day out? Piglets Adventure Farm in the summer, and Stockeld Park at Christmas.
What’s the hardest thing about being a parent? Second guessing every thing you do with perhaps the wrong idea that there is always a “right” way to do everything.
What’s the best thing about weekends and why? Without a shadow of a doubt it’s the time together as a family.
What is your most treasured memory? Six whole months’ paternity leave watching my little baby grow and reach so many milestones.
What’s the children’s favourite food/meal? At nursery it could be anything from a vegetable casserole to a wonderful curry. At home you can forget Ana daring to try any of that and it’s more often than not fish fingers, chips and beans (with cucumber towards her five-a-day)
What’s your top penny-pinching tip? So many family friendly places have picnic areas (not just outdoorsy places; The Deep and Eureka have indoor picnic areas) so it’s daft not to take your own lunch to save anywhere up to £20 a visit.
What one item can you not live without? Ana’s Kindle Fire, it’s a wonderful distraction at times.
What can your children not live without? It’s a toss-up between her first doll, “baby”, and a more recent acquisition of “Maisie” the Build-a-Bear monkey.
Child’s favourite book and author - Currently it’s a tie between The Gruffalo and Ten Little Monsters.