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by Abigail Van Buren

Moms Debate Loading Question in Supermarket Parking Lots

DEAR ABBY: My women friends and I are having a disagreement about whether we should put our children in the car first, or load our groceries first. One friend says that she starts her car to cool it off, buckles her children in and then loads her groceries. Another friend insists that you should put your kids in last, so if your car gets hijacked your children won't be in the car.

However, I had my baby sitting in the front of the cart while I unloaded my groceries when another car backed up so fast that she came within an inch of hitting my baby in the cart. I let out a blood-curdling scream, and she stopped her car just in time.

Wouldn't it be easier to buckle my older child and baby in the car before unloading my groceries? -– PAM IN HOUSTON

DEAR PAM: The rule of thumb should be to load your most precious cargo first. Once the children are secured, the groceries can be placed inside. The odds of your car being hijacked are far less than, say, the grocery cart with the child in it rolling away while your hands are occupied with a grocery bag, or, as you have already experienced, an inattentive driver hitting it.