Our FTL (Family Transportation Logistics) is complicated. We have one patriotic blue short-bus minivan, AKA "the mini" AKA "the Blue Eagle". We also have one red 1994 stick shift, heat only, bench seat, Ford F150 with working tape cassette. Remember those? It is affectionately called "Clifford".
One gets around 24mpg, seats 7 people, has room for our children and all their crap, and I can drive it. The other gets 11mpg, seats 2 people, (3 if you want to get really friendly with the stick shift) is questionable whether it can accommodate car seats, and I can't drive it. I tried once, in New Bedford, with cars parked on both sides of the street, where around every corner is a new game of chicken. It wasn't pretty and I don't think my husband will allow it again.
We have always gotten by with a lot of walking. We are less than 500 feet from Addie's school, and only about 2 city blocks from our sitter's house. But our unpredictable schedules have led us to question if this will continue to work.
The logistics are as follows:
Addie needs to be at school by 8am 3 days out of the week. If I'm working, I'm out of the house with the only car I can drive with the car seats. So Hubby has to walk the girls up to school, and then walk Emily to the sitter, and then walk back, get in his truck and make it to work by 9. Usually works okay, except for those days he has to be to work earlier. On days Addie doesn't have school, one of those days our sitter has to take two kiddos to school, so she walks them up. We don't want to add 2 more kids for her to drag up there or leave with her husband/mother-in-law, so he waits until after 8 to bring them to her, again walking. Then there's pick up at the end of the day.
Enter winter... in Iowa... blowing snow, freezing rain, and 30 degrees Fahrenheit... oh, 30 degrees BELOW ZERO! Add to that no sidewalks in town and walking on the edge of the road made significantly smaller by the addition of snow banks, and those 2 measly blocks seem like an epic battle.
So here we are with essentially one vehicle to share. We need a new one, but we also need a second bathroom, so we're not sure what our financial priority is. We could shove a car seat in the truck, and a booster seat in the middle, for that 2 block time, which isn't technically illegal, but I'm a rule follower, so I don't know. Not to mention the time it takes to get kids into car seats and out again is going to be close to the same amount of exposure to the cold. Logistically speaking, anyone got any ideas?