After Mass a person approached our pastor and complained about the noisy kids and babies. I wanted to ask "What do you want Fr. to do? Should he stop Mass and offer to spank them all?" Some of the things people ask priests are really unreasonable. Normal human beings are simply hard wired to notice to the sounds babies make. I can hear a baby coo in a noisy room or at work. I ignore anger cries but if it is the distinct fear cry I will go and peep to see what's wrong. Yes, the little kid banging his metal truck on the pew can be maddening. The big kid playing video games is obnoxious and hapless the man who who keeps getting up and down with his little one, dragging toys, blankets and sippy cups behind him while stepping all over you is enough to make you want to say something spicy and uncharitable but here are things you can do to minimize the noisy tot problem. You can ignore it and offer it up. A friend of Rocky's uses ear plugs at Mass, others simply avoid the Family Mass. There are others who concentrate on the missal and throw themselves so deeply into prayer that they hear nothing. I have been known to switch pews. You wouldn't dare go up to a woman and tell her to "Shut that kid up," so why demand that poor Father do so?
*Note to young parents: the people frowning at you at church are not necessarily annoyed by you and your offspring. They heard a panic cry and are instinctively reacting to it.