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A Simple Six: More School Commuting Issues

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More School Commuting Issues

Avery, ready to walk to school yesterday.
Kid power.

Yesterday I walked up to the school at pick up time, with the little boys in the stroller, gathered the big kids and walked home, but it was torture. My first mistake was not packing enough snacks for their hungry school drained bodies. Second mistake was walking home, down Norway with scuffing children. Third mistake, was walking six, almost seven, miles today, mostly over hills. Am I sounding like a wimp yet? Extremely unfit? A mother of four cranky children? A bit unrealistic and insensitive? Probably a bit of each.

Timeout for us all on Norway.

There were melt downs and complaints and very unsafe tugging of backpacks and kicking between children on narrow sidewalks with a lot of cars. No narrow misses, no one hurt, but very unnerving for me and probably for the drivers. The boys didn't complain once, but London's feet and legs really hurt. I suspect she needs to stretch  more and get better shoes. I made sure to stop many many times and I massaged her aches and pains when we returned.
Big kid power.

More rest time yesterday.
There must be a good way to do all this without our van. I am stubbornly unwilling to accept that covering a two mile distance is not reasonable without a vehicle. We could bus home, for another $3/day. We could ask someone to bring the children home, but then I would miss the interaction with the teachers and double checking they didn't forget anything. Or we could try what we are going to do today.

Going to find a bus stop this morning.

An Oliver on my back.

Wait time.

This morning, all six of us, biked and walked to the bus stop. Brent had a very early day on campus and decided to join us then head on into work. Since he wasn't able to stay home with the little boys, I loaded Oliver into the backpack carrier and Avery walked with us. London and Elliot rode their bikes. Two walkers, three riders and one in a carrier. 4/5 of a mile, 20 minutes, $3. We actually left our house on time and had about 15 minutes to wait on the bus. Fifteen minutes means the bus didn't arrive until 8AM, the same time the tardy bell rings at school.

The children arrived too late, but we were able to get their bikes to school without riding them up any hills. Loading the bikes onto the bus rack was a new experience. The driver had to get off the bus to show us how to pull the rack down and then lock our wheels to the rack. I am sure that annoyed all the other passengers and set us back even further. Yet, now we know. In consideration, I did not take photos. Avery, Oliver and I walked the two miles home.

Bikes made it to school.

Avery's shoes were bothering him, so he waked most of the way home this morning in socks.

avery insisted on running the length of Woodland to the mailbox where I said we could take a break, but then he didn't want to.
Oliver, Avery and I will walk to school at pick up time today and then Elliot and London can ride their bikes home while I push the others. I did make it very clear to them all that we will have to go over the big hills to stay off Norway in exchange for riding. I really should have made them walk the hills yesterday, but Norway is the more direct way and at that point I had covered 4.8 miles and wanted to just get home. Additionally, the short biking we did this morning didn't bother London's legs and feet at all, so I am hoping our return this afternoon will be smoother.

On our walk home this morning, we noted a fresh patch of asphalt next to the cemetery. I read on the Create Huntington Facebook page yesterday, that this is the new portion of the PATH. According to the old map, PATH should provide us a way to get from Wiltshire to very near Our Lady of Fatima Parish School, with a safer route that follows Norway. Create Huntington said an updated map of the PATH should be available soon. Perhaps this will assist us in our school commutes?

New section of the PATH.

Good morning.

Miles Walked: 13.2 Biked: 9.3 Bused: 2.1 Drove: 0 This week
13.2 9.3 2.1 0 Since August 14, 2011

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