01 April 2009

Transportation Options

Sometimes, there are too many options. Last week, I had made a date to walk with a friend at the park 1.5 miles away. I was taking the three little ones, so I'd planned to take the van. However, the wife had to work over that morning and the van was not available to haul me and my precious cargo to the park for a walk. (I know, driving somewhere for a walk, it's not something we often do either.) What to do?

A) Reschedule. (But I hate being flaky like that.)
B) Infant in a front-pack and toddlers in the double stroller/trailer. (Lots of exercise for me!)
C) Hitch the trailer to the Xtracycle and clip on the Bobike seat. (Not yet attempted by me with three kids.)

D) Take the bus. (A stop for the 16 is five houses away.)

I chose D.

We keep a stash of bus tickets for these occasions and kids 5 and under ride free with an accompanying adult. My kids have ridden the bus before, but I learned later that this was Kyler's first trip on public transit. He sat with Gwen on one of the jump seats at the front of the bus and when we started moving, he looked at me and said, "Woah! This is coool!" The ride took less than 5 minutes, but the kids had a blast.

We were prepaired to bus it home from the park (and my transfer was still good), but Sarah was heading home from the hospital (next door to the park) at just the right time, so we hitched a lift. Easy as pie.

That afternoon, Sarah walked our youngest to the hospital for a checkup, so I hitched up the trailer and took the toddlers to the store for pizza toppings. (We had whole wheat pizza dough churning in the bread machine.) I followed the back roads to get there since it's more uphill. Kyler decided to wear his helmet through two stores, which I do, too, sometimes when I'm in a hurry. Despite the drive-time traffic, I stayed on the main arterial for the trip home since I can keep decent speed on the slight downhill and the road isn't pocked with potholes like so many of Tacoma's residential lanes. I made it home without incident and felt invigorated. It couldn't have been too scary, because both kids slept the whole way home.

Explore your transportation options, but don't feel like you need to use any of them exclusively. You may find yourself enjoying the variety as much as we do.

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