The Treehouse Project (11-15)

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What happens when you have 5 kids that have been begging for a treehouse and 2 dads that happen to be engineers?  A.  Very. Big. Project.  Let me tell you about The Treehouse.

It’s hard to ignore a 3 year old’s nightly pleas, big blue eyes, and “I found daddy’s safety glasses for when he builds my treehouse.”  They tried for a few months, but finally caved.  It’s big.  It’s going to be deluxe.  It attracts on-lookers every day.  Walking by it you can’t help but look up.  Way, way, up.  Because a normal sized, normal height treehouse just won’t do.  It’s a mathematical, engineering wonder.  Or will be!  As soon as the dads have a few days that they both actually have off together.  (Or, to be fair, when we haven’t begged them to help with a million other projects)

The treehouse has gone up bit by bit.  I think they started with some semblance of an idea, but nothing written down.  One dad (Dad #1) builds for a time, while the other one is out on business.  Then while he’s off to work, the other (Dad #2) may put in a few hours.  They spend most of their time figuring out where the other one was going with the building.  This looks like:

  •  “Hmm, I’m not sure where he was going with this, I guess I’ll have to cut down this branch to get it to fit.”
  • Dad #2, sitting in the grass, head in hands, “I just need him for an hour.  Just an hour.  Why!?!  Why can’t he be here with me!”
  • “Pretty sure we discussed the next step, but it’s cool.  We’ll just change that wall.  At least he’s a whiz at figuring angles.”

They are pretty adept at altering the original plan based on the previous work.  This treehouse is being built one idea at a time.
I’m giving them crap cuz I love em.  🙂

Dad #1 is a “get ‘er done” kind of guy.  The other is a perfectionist maximus.  He’s also spent much of his work life on projects where safety comes first, second, third, and may prevent a project from ever getting done.  This kind of meeting of minds is sometimes good, sometimes bad.  Luckily they are both so laid back they just roll with each other.  The get-er-done dad was happy that the safety officer would be away for a bit so he could actually move forward with the project.  It was a beautiful day, and he had the older boys helping.  Kid #1 came in the house and said this dad may need help, he may be hurt, we should probably go see.  We came flying out of the house.  Dad #1 was casually kneeling in the grass by the frame he was building.  He casually mentioned to us that he accidentally nailed his finger flush to the frame with the nailer and could we please go find a Sawzall in the shed?  He was going to just cut the nail so to free himself.  After he pounded the nail back out a bit to fit the blade, of course.  He was so casual about it, a neighbor walked by, and, not wanting to alarm this poor soul, he just waved and pretended he was busy working!

It took us several trips to the shed, back and forth, to find said tool.  Then the blade was wrong.  Then we didn’t know how to change the blade.  Dad #1 walked us through step by step.  All while nailed to a frame.  At one point he decided it may be easier to call an engine, and of course, did that himself too.  We finally got the saw ready and he cut himself free, and canceled the engine.

There are many lessons here:

  • Make sure your tool shed is organized in case you need to saw yourself free at any time.
  • Be careful assigning 2 engineering dads a project like a treehouse.
  • Safety precautions, while a big pain in the butt, can occasionally save you time.  And pain.  And several thousand dollars in the ER to remove a nail.
  • And miracles do happen.  Can you believe the nail didn’t hit a bone or tendon?
  • It’s good to have a plan sometimes

The safety engineer did get many gloating opportunities out of this (“Hey, you in charge of the safety moment at work tomorrow?”) but the get-er-done guy is still ahead as far as work productivity.  Sure, we had to change our front yard “Zero work days lost” sign.

Now, the snow is flying and life has come indoors.  Will the treehouse be finished?  Stay tuned!  I’m sure there will be more to this story.


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