Dear Young Mother Sitting Near the Back of the Bus,
The reason why I called down the length of the nearly empty bus to ask if the tiny blond child-- alone, asleep and almost invisible--at the very front of the bus was your son was not to judge you but to ascertain before I got off the bus that he had not been abandoned.
I didn't judge you until I saw you scowling at me through the window. Now I think you're chippy and stupid.
Fortunately for your son and other children, I am kind of woman who always looks for a child's mother when that child is alone or in distress. Your angry look will not change that.
Oh, and by the way, in the UK a child is reported missing every three minutes. You think about that the next time you take the older child with you to the back of the bus, leaving the toddler by the door, and then getting on your mobile phone. It would have been the work of an instant for someone to scoop up your sleeping son, get off the bus and run. The driver didn't even know your son was there; he had no idea what I was talking about, and I am not sure he could see him.
It's a tough world for mothers, but it will be even worse when women like me don't bother to make sure your children aren't in trouble.
Grace and peace,
Middle-aged Yank-sounding Ginger Woman in the Blue Coat
Update: I've received some "We get nagged all the time by strangers" comments from parents to my tale, so I will dial back on the your-kid-could-be-kidnapped thoughts. Only about 52 children in the UK are murdered each year, and only 532 children in the UK were kidnapped in police year 2011/2012. This still adds up to 584 horrible tragedies, but the odds were in the sleeping blond moppet's favour. But, as I said, my first thought was that he had been abandoned or forgotten there, since he was asleep and his mother was not in immediate view. And I didn't say, "Tsk, tsk, tsk." I said "Is this your son...? Is this your son...? Oh, okay. Great."