I don’t feel like I handled the situation very well, but I also don’t know what I should have done differently. Do you have any suggestions for me?It's a tough one and quite frankly, I don't know the answer. Although to me, it's obvious (realizing, of course, that others may disagree) that something had to be said or done. But what exactly?
Ashley's mom let them know that she understood their reference and told them "to stop immediately.” When they walked away snickering, continuing to look back at her daughter while performing a sing song of “Once upon a time…Once upon a time….once upon a time…” she followed them down the aisle, proclaiming that her daughter is beautiful and asking how they thought their mothers would feel about them at that moment. Although the boys were getting angry, at this point, one of the group insisted that the others leave the store with him.
The best response I can come up with at the moment came from Amazing Grace, a commenter at Pipecleaner Dreams who suggested coming back with "Once upon a time there were these three boys who were very mean and said really stupid stuff . . ." except that I'm pretty sure my 'Once upon a time' would have been a fair bit nastier.
So, dear reader, I pose you the question ... 'What would you have done?'