There are four different versions to the Asda shop for me. There's the on line version, which takes a bit of prep and you don't get to see or feel stuff, so that usually rules that one out for me.
There's the usual one where I have one or two of the girls with me. I am a Woman on a Mission, and this shopping success rate is based on the tiredness of the girls and how well they cope with the trolley seating arrangement. (Being in close proximity to a sibling can cause one's child to simply overload and explode it seems). It also depends on whether I have brought a dummy with me, whether anyone needs a wee or does a poo, and where along the route I give into the many requests of "Can I have...?" If I peak too early, then they think they can ask for everything and get it. If I peak too late, there is potential for another overload and explosion, resulting in screams at the checkout. And they're not fun for anyone. We've all see or heard these in action, where Wasabi peas or chewing gum is flung at the child in a desperate plea for peace.
The rarer, and less preferred option, is when for some reason I have to take all six kids with me. Crazy Woman on a Mission! Yeah. Rock and Roll. Move out the way. Clear the aisles. This shopping success rate is based on two questions towards the end of the excursion; 'Have I still got the right six kids with me?' and 'Is there some food, any food in the trolley?'
If the answer is yes, then it is a win.
I've worked at this one, because otherwise I'm setting us all up to fail. I add £5 to the budget. They all have £1 each to spend. Call it 'Positive Reinforcement' or bribery, I don't care. It works. It can't all be spent on sweets and it can't be spent on alcohol. Me and the oldest take a list each, split the fighting pairs up and start the mission. This one has come to an abrupt standstill before, because some lady's 'bus load of kids' opened the Fire Escape doors and set all the alarms off!
The third beautiful option, is where I go alone. Ah it's always a success, right from the start even as I drive there. I listen in the van; nothing. I wander aimlessly up to George clothing, and look at clothes which aren't even on the sale rail. Might even choose an item. (After all, what comes out of the Asda budget, stays in the Asda budget). I plan the week's meals as I go along; What looks tasty? What's on offer? I wander down each aisle I choose. I usually buy myself a treat somewhere along the unplanned route. I eat it right there and then, in public, not rustling away in secret. There's no one to hide it from, and no one to share it with. Mwahahahahaha! I usually buy wine. Seems a fitting finish to this Spa type excursion. I cannot use the wine as the 'treat along the way' though. (My mission is to time this particular shop so the kids are already in bed before I get home).
I added a new mission in my head this last time. I put everything through the Self Scan. I pretended I wasn't playing shops, and carefully bagged it all. My mission was to have no 'unidentified items in the bagging area'. I hate unidentified items in the bagging area so much. And I did it. Go me. I didn't have the Asda person come over, with their special lanyard, not even once. This mumma was winning on her mission.
With parenting, and maybe just with life, I've come to accept that there are days, or hours, maybe just minutes when you're a woman on a mission, and you're just winning at it. And there's days where you don't even know where your hairbrush is, let alone what mission you're on.
The thing is with the word mission, it's actually as much about the trip, the commission, the journey, the expedition as it is about an end goal as such. And if it's a journey, then you can rest along the way, you can take different routes, you can stock up in the different aisles, you can have others walk alongside you, you can slow your pace down, or pick it up even. You may even gather some unidentified baggage along the way, but you can ask someone to carry the load for you. I'm pretty secure of my Final Destination, I know I'm going to my Father's House, where He has many rooms and a great feast waiting for me. And I know that because of Jesus, I'm always winning, no matter what the mission.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world". John 16v33