a mother sits on her phone instead of talking to her four-year-old son.


I’m very hungry.

This is a table.

Is this a fast train?

Why is not moving?

It’s moving.

Why are we not eating if this is a table?


A mother sits on her phone instead of talking to her four-year-old son. I catch the little boy’s eye and he looks fed-up. Like he has a question he wants to ask, one he knows won’t be answered. Outside the train, through the window, blurred world in all it’s unfamiliar shapes and colours, sunlight flickering violently on graves, this is answer enough for the little boy. Mother on her phone, a little boy’s gaze out of a train’s window: are they so dissimilar?

When Mummy puts down her phone he knows it’s okay to talk. In silence, there is curiousity. She looks at her phone when it dings. He wriggles in his chair, changes seats. Are these independent, individual actions, the checking of the phone, the changing of the seat, any different?

He stares so I smile and he stares. What does he think of me? Nothing. He thinks nothing of me. I am a stranger.


Unhappy, un-stimulated child,

be encouraged in your wonder,

It’s London, and you are not a


8 thoughts on “a mother sits on her phone instead of talking to her four-year-old son.

    • I know, it just struck me this time because of the similarity of their actions. Getting distracted on the train is like getting distracted by a phone. I just knew that they’d both be satisfied if they paid each other any attention.

      It’s difficult not to judge in these situations.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Your writing is really strong and refreshing. It’s a joy to read. It is sad when you see this happening. I have a friend who can be like this with their child and though I want to broach the subject, I never know what to say. Good story. I like it a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, for this comment and all the others, you’ve made my day and affirmed all the reasons I blog at all.

      It’s a difficult one. It’s hard to judge these kinds of things. I always end up feeling kind of guilty – as in I have no idea whether the kid has just punched an old lady in the shin, or whether the parent has had a shitty day. So I always feel bad for judging.

      Judging IS fun though, so…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! Isn’t it just…

        No worries. It was my pleasure to read some of your great content. Will definitely come back for more in the future.


  2. Kids don’t recognise human facial expressions any more because their parents don’t look at them and once they get their own phone the kid never looks at another real time face again. We should all be very afraid and yes, we should judge, because we are going to live in their future.

    Liked by 1 person

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