10/23/2014 12:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

An Open Letter to My Kindergartener's 'Boyfriend'

Today, my 5-year-old daughter informed me she has a boyfriend and that this hooligan (my words, not hers) is you. Before you try to tell me you didn't know that you were her boyfriend, you can rest assured that I presumed that to be the case. Nobody would be so foolish as to court my daughter without asking for my permission first, right?

In my estimation, a gaggle of kindergarten girls must have sensed an imbalance in the ratio of princesses to princes on the playground and made a multitude of pairings for each other without the consultation of their counterparts. Your best attribute was probably your proximity to the swing set where the girls were planning their Frozen reenactment, so you can stop trying to high-five whoever is reading you this letter.

Regardless of whether you were complicit in this scheme, and I hope for your sake that you were not, it is necessary for me to put you on notice of the following:

1. Your serendipitous status as "boyfriend" does not make my daughter your "girlfriend." Nobody, including me, has the authority to put labels on my daughter and you would be wise not to challenge her authority to maintain the order of the world around us. She makes our universe better in every way possible and her mother and I are providing all of the assistance she needs in this endeavor for the foreseeable future.

2. You are unworthy. You may think you are cute, but my daughter is cuter. You may think you are friendly, but my daughter is friendlier. You may think you are smart, but you obviously aren't smart enough to maintain the recommended distance from my daughter until she is 21. See point number three.

3. My daughter has two brothers. My boys may be younger than my daughter, but they have already proven to be proficient at landing vicious head butts, slicing faces with fingernails and sustaining choke holds until their target turns the same color as Barney. Most of these attacks are of the surprise variety, even to my boys who typically act on instinct rather than with any coordination. Who knows what acts they might be capable of with a little planning? I would not be shocked if one of them pushed somebody off of the top of the slide if they happened to find themselves there with someone who threatened them or their family. They take their role of being the only people allowed to torment their sister very seriously.

4. Your phone number is unwanted. Don't bother giving my daughter your phone number. She tells me everything, so you would basically be giving me your mom's phone number and setting yourself up for countless jokes that you won't understand until you're a teenager and it's too late for your comebacks. It's also not lost on me that your mom is probably the person reading you this letter and she is not only concerned about you giving her phone number to strangers, she's still thinking about point number three. Listen to her advice about avoiding my daughter and her brothers if you want to make your momma happy, and I know you do.

5. This arrangement will not end well for you. My daughter can be inseparable from a beloved stuffed animal in the morning and by lunchtime find it passé. Her tolerance for her favorite foods, shows and clothes can be even shorter. My point is that you are the least of these things. She may make you feel like you're her favorite classmate, but that's just how women are going to make you feel for the rest of your life. The most you can get out of this arrangement are a few lyrics of kindergarten angst and heartbreak for songs you can write on your recorder and build upon until you are married.

We've never met before, and I would prefer we keep it that way. But at least you've learned an important lesson: Stay away from my daughter.

More Sincerely than You Know,

Ava's Daddy

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