It's pretty common for checkout clerks to make small talk with the littles. Things like, "Oh, are you tired of shopping?" or "Oh, is that your favorite blankie?"
Yesterday as I was putting things up on the belt I could hear the clerk talking to the twins softly and confidingly, so I turned on the smile I give to people who are being kind to my children. But when I tuned in, I heard that she was saying quietly to Edward, who was sucking his thumb, "That's disgusting. Don't do that. Take your thumb out of your mouth. Ew, yuck. Disgusting."
Well. I could feel that smile drop completely off my face. Perhaps you are wondering if at this point I opened up a can of whoop-ass, but that is not my style. If I can manage to open up any sort of can in a confrontational situation, it tends to be a can of sob-kleenex.
In this case what I did was push the stroller forward so that Edward was no longer within her soft-chatting zone. I stood right where Edward had been, now between her and Edward, and I continued to not-smile. I finished the transaction and I left.
Would you have done it differently? I'm interested to know what other people consider The Right Reaction in a circumstance such as this one.