Right now I have 4 year old rear facing in a Radian behind the driver, 10 month old center in Graco infant seat and 3 year old RF Radian behind passenger seat (making it essentially useless which isn't really an issue). I have ordered a My Ride for the baby since she is outgrowing the Graco. If it doesnt work (drivers seat is my only concern because even though I am really little I can't possibly sit any closer to the steering wheel than I currently do) or maybe even if it DOES work, I am considering a new car. This is in a Volvo V50. I've been thrilled to keep it for an extra year but the down sides are starting to wear on me - 3 kids constantly touching and fighting, having to launch the infant seat over the forward facing Radian every time we go somewhere and lean in to remove it when we get anywhere. When the seat is already in the base this means the 4 year old has to wait outside the car while I sit in the FF Radian to buckle the baby in and this will always be the case when we move up to the My Ride.
But here are my concerns - is a bigger car really going to be any easier and what configuration will make it so? I am looking at a Mercedes R350. It has captains chairs and then 2 (I believe) seats in the 3rd row. None of the children are anywhere near buckeling or unbuckeling themselves (4 year old can buckle the chest clip but that is it), and I really don't want that to change any time soon. For many, many reasons I cannot come up with a configuration that makes the most sense and makes it worth buying a new car (although I may not have the choice if the MR doesn't work).
Other factors -
The 3 year old is mine, the other 2 are not. I am their Nanny and work 50 hours a week when I have all 3 of them. It makes sense for this reason for the RF 3 year old to be behind the drivers side...I miss that convenience when getting in and out with just one kid.
Both the 3 and 4 year old are in carpools where they prefer the staff get them in and out of the car on the passenger side. Obviously we have worked around that with them coming to the drivers side to get her out and put her in the car but ideally they'd be able to put her in the passenger side.
So options and issues are:
3 year old RF behind the driver (I can put her back in her Britax so the height of the Radian isnt an issue behind my seat)
Infant RF behind the passenger seat
4 yr old in 3rd row
Will the 3 and 4 year olds be able to duck behind the RF baby seat to get to drivers side and the 3rd row?
Then I have to get out and open the back to buckle and unbuckle her (including in carpool)
3 year old RF behind the driver
4 year old FF behind the passenger
Infant in the 3rd row
The baby seems like the last person that should be in the 3rd row?
Might this actually be the easiest person to have back there as far as me needing to open the back to get her in? I do occasionally NOT take her on errands or carpool runs....
My bosses girls are BIG girls and there is a good chance the baby will be FF before my daughter.
WOW, I didn't realize this was going to turn in to a novel.
I'd love to hear some opinions. Thanks.