Moppet's Papa and I were stretched out on our matching recliners, watching Moppet potter around the living room with her toys and blocks, and singing 'Happy to you' at the top of her baby voice.
It was a lovely, lazy evening during the festive last days of December, full of warmth and cheer and contentment, so I was particularly shocked to hear Moppet's Papa muse out loud, "Hmm, there's a double barrelled gun in our family. I must remember to get the license transferred to my name."
What?! Did I hear that right?
"Whatever for?" I asked, staring at my boy-faced husband of 5 years, wondering if there was some murderous facet to his personality that I hadn't seen yet.
He rolled his eyes at me, impatient at my inability to see the obvious. "To scare away all her unsuitable boyfriends!" he said, nodding towards Moppet who was engaged in the demure and dainty act of dismantling the roof of her toy castle and smashing it with her plastic maraca.
Ah, of course! I smiled broadly, and then quickly supressed it when I realised that he was not entirely joking. "Not that it looks like she'll need much protecting though", I said, as straight-faced as I could manage. His only response was to shake his head, but the thought 'how little this woman understands' hung thickly in the air.
I do understand, actually. There can never exist any man good enough for your little girl, and that's a fact that every father knows is true. I'm sure my own dad wished he had a double barrelled gun handy when I first brought home that 'someone I think you should meet' . Nevertheless he certainly did his best to scare him off by sheer boredom - the first hour of conversation revolved entirely about the weather in 5 different cities :-) It didn't work though, as is evidenced by the fact that I eventually married that someone and produced the unholy terror otherwise known as Moppet.
I somehow doubt that the double barrelled gun would be any more effective. But for now at least, it provides some reassurance to yet another hapless father.