I was at the 11:00 OF yesterday, in my usual seat in the middle of the church. There were two extremely talkative tottlers right in front of me, and it made it extremely difficult at times to hear what the priest was saying. I love the little ones, and these particular little ones were probably too young to know better, but I thought they were being very disruptive. I was at a loss on what I should say, if anything, to their parents. I didn’t want to come off as uncheritable, but I desperately wanted to tell the parents that their kids were making it hard for me to hear. I finally resolved to just softly say “shhhh,” and put my finger to my closed lips, but the little ones just kept on talking. Finally, during the sign of peace, I told one of the parents that I was sorry for shishing his child, but I was having trouble hearing.
I’m not sure if I did the right thing in this situation. If it would have happened at a movie theater or at a concert, for example, I would have probably just moved to another seat if I could, or I may have felt more comfortable just telling the parents right then and there that their children were being too noisy, and asking them to please do something about it. In the past, the noisier little ones have always been far enough away from me for me to even care, but they were right in front of me yesterday. They were cute, but I was trying to hear the Mass, and I didn’t want to be distracted. Would it have been ok for me to just say something to their parents when the problem first started?