I found the best way to get through this chore was to treat it like a computer game.
In the game I had to fill my shopping cart with items from a variable list and get through the checkout without blowing the shop up.
Why blowing the shop up? Well, in my cart was a ticking bomb known as Small. I only had so long before it exploded. I had to push fast, load quickly and not deliberate over brands. I learnt product placement and developed an optimum route. I cursed loudly every time the store ‘levelled up’ by moving everything around, just to make the game harder.
A few games in I discovered a hidden time bonus in the baby aisle in the form of organic corn puff snacks that, if opened and feed to the Small-bomb, delayed the explosion. My game strategy became to plan this in for a third of the way around my route but I soon discovered that each time I played the game the amount of time I had before needing to pick up the time bonus reduced as the Small-bomb learnt to associate the shop with the bonus. Before long it became the first place I had to visit, even though it was at the wrong end of the store.
Once all the corn snacks have been consumed, time was up. The end of the game was indicated by the Small-bomb exploding, loudly. As I progressed up levels the time to complete the mission became shorter due to the Small-bomb’s increasing ability to demolish corn snacks.
Sometimes I had to continue with an extra life in the form of additional corn snacks although later I discovered an unofficial cheat plugin to download, which upgraded the corn snack time bonus to a toffee time bonus.
There were occasions when I failed in my mission but that didn’t matter because in my rush I had normally forgotten half of the things I needed and had to play the game again the next day anyway.
Not so much a parenting guide full of advice, more the reality of parenting kids and being a house husband and father, written by a stay at home dad to three children.
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