Fredericton — Sally Forbes, 38, of Fredericton, knows what it takes to be an excellent parent and loves to dole out expert advice to her co-workers, neighbours, friends and family — even if it’s mostly unsolicited. The peculiar thing about Forbes’ expertise is that she herself doesn’t have any children; she never has, and has no plans to conceive or adopt at this point in her life.
“I just never wanted any,” she explained. “But, I know kids. My neighbour 2 houses down has 2 kids, and my sister has 3, so I always get to see how they screw up their children with poor parenting — and I see it all the time at the grocery store. Just last week in fact, my neighbour puts her youngest one in the car, and then runs inside the house to get the other one! That 2-year-old was left there for like 2 minutes — 2 whole minutes. What if I hadn’t been just sitting there staring out my window that morning? No one would have ever seen it and her husband would have never known. Don’t worry, though, I told him.”
The Manatee asked Forbes for other examples of poor parenting she’s seen. “Sure, I’m used to it by now,” she proudly replied. “People are always saying things like, ‘Oh, Sally you give the best advice for my children.’ I assume they are, anyway.”
Forbes continued to give our reporter what she calls her “5 essential tips for good parenting.”
Tip 1: Always give your child what they want in a store if it will make them stop crying — it’s so annoying.
Tip 2: Never breastfeed. Even if you’re in private, God can still see you.
Tip 3: Have a bottle of wine daily — it makes parenting seem like less of a chore and your kids will like being around you more.
Tip 4: Don’t listen to your mother’s advice. What does she know? Look at how bad she messed you up.
Tips 5: Don’t be so cheap and put your kids in private school no matter how much it costs.
The Manatee was able to track down Forbes’ sister, Marcia Reed, and asked her how having such an expert available to her has made her a better parent.
“I’m so fortunate to have had Sally here to help me,” she confessed. “I don’t know if my kids would even be alive without her. When I brought my first baby home, I was getting ready to prepare some dinner when Sally told me about hotdogs, grapes and popcorn and that they were the top 3 chocking hazards for children. I mean, how was I to know that a newborn couldn’t eat hotdogs?”
Our reporter asked Reed whether there are any other gems of advice that Forbes had passed on. “Oh, all kinds of stuff,” she said. “Don’t put baby in the oven. Don’t put pillows over baby’s face. Don’t let the baby play with poisonous snakes. Raise the baby as a Buddhist even though we’re Christian. Don’t let the baby play with the hairdryer in the bath. I could go on for days.”
Despite her wealth of knowledge, Forbes says she has no plan to spread her wisdom to a larger audience through a book or a self-help video. “I’ll just keep spreading the word like I always do,” she said, “with condescending, passive-aggressive remarks that will make people feel bad about themselves. Or, I’ll talk about them behind their back so their friends will tell them what I said, or sometimes I’ll make an anonymous complaint to social services.”