Can I put my brother in the chipper?

Our neighbors to the North, whose tree I may or may not have killed when we moved in, had some tree trimmers over for some summer trimming. They had a chipper trailer along with all manner of cool cutting tools and fromt he moment they pulled their big rig up in front of our house, all other games stopped for the boys. They gathered near and watched the show unfold.

One of my favorite parts about the heavy machinery work that happens in our neighborhood, besides the time off it affords me as the boys are enraptured by the scene, is the way the workers interact with the boys. They know that this new machine is the coolest thing these kids will see today and they take some time to tell the kids what they are doing. Primo is will get right in there and start asking questions and Segundo has started to join him. While one guy got the ladders ready and formulated a game plan the other was prepping the  chain saw, tree trimmer, and other cutting tools while the boys stood 3 feet away asking about each tool. This guy was a but gruff looking with a half smoked cigarette hanging from his mouth and what looked like prison tattoos visible through the neck of his t-shirt, but he answered each question and explained what they were going to do with each saw. The whole process was interesting to me too, but I would never ask them what they were doing, or get as much detail back if I did ask. There is something innocent and disarming about the boys that makes you want to teach what you know, and these guys knew tree trimming.

We learned about creeper vines and how to make the shrub flat on top. He brought over a branch and some wood chips to show what the machine did when you put the branch in one end. After trimming all the trees and gathering the branches they fired up the wood chipper and the boys retreated to the porch with nervous excitement. They went looking for things they could throw in the chipper, but the operator turned them away while still noting how cool it would be to put a snow globe through the blades. Primo asked if he could put his brother in chipper, apparently in a desire to re-enact his favorite scene from Fargo, but that request was turned down too. Kids are naturally inquisitive and taking advantage of those teachable moments are so fun. We started trimming the rose bushes and shrubs at our house and while we didn’t have a chipper to rip up the branches, the boys did help me load them up into the compost pile and green waste bin.

Part of the Fatherhood Friday group of blogging Fathers and Mothers over at Dad Blogs. Please click on the image to the left to find more great writing from other bloggers trying to make sense of this whole parenting thing

  7 comments for “Can I put my brother in the chipper?

  1. 06/25/2010 at 10:57 am

    I love the title but I have to admit that I was waiting for the puchline the whole time i read the post. I feel a little let down 🙁
    Kevin (TheDADvocateProject)´s last blog post ..Exciting Things are a foot

    Portlanddad Reply:

    Updated with the titular line back in the post, sorry to disappoint you Kevin, but you were right, you can’t tease something that good and then leave it out of the post

  2. 06/25/2010 at 1:21 pm

    I still fondly remember watching work crews and big machinery as a kid.

    One of my summer jobs included tree removal and I had the pleasure of using a rusty old vermeer chipper. Always had visions of a branch catching my sleeve and turning me into mulch. Sorry for sharing it, but you’ve already seen Fargo.

  3. 06/25/2010 at 1:31 pm

    Hey it was worth a shot. Funny the way kids minds work.
    Seattledad (Luke, I am Your Father)´s last blog post ..The Terrible Myth

  4. 06/25/2010 at 6:56 pm

    The really interesting thing is those *were* prison tattoos barely visible under his shirt.

    And if you had asked him “What were you in for?” he would have responded “I put my brother in a wood chipper.”
    BrerMatt´s last blog post ..Moving

  5. 06/27/2010 at 10:04 am

    It’s great how kids will not usually judge a person by their looks as quickly as adults will. And how most adults (even scary looking ones!) are usually more than willing to indulge inquisitive kids (especially about their expertise). I’m glad there were no attempts to re-inact Fargo!

  6. Ben
    07/04/2010 at 2:20 am

    It’s great to see kids so inquisitive! They have no fear – you couldn’t pay me to approach a gruff ex-con!
    Ben´s last blog post ..Week Twenty Six- “Which circles are clearer- the green or the red…”

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