Steely Dan

I’m slightly weirded out by Daniel’s obsessive interest in industrial steel products. I know it’s normal for a seven year-old to be mad about one arbitrary thing or another, and that’s all well and good. I just would have thought it would be something a bit more accessible – dolphins, ambulances, gorillas, handball, inventing hover-shoes… that sort of thing. 

He could have gone with anything in the world, and yet he’s landed on something I know literally nothing about: steel fabrication. So here I am, scrabbling to put together a list of the best steel fabricators in the Melbourne area, hoping that one of them will let my kid come and gawk at their activities. I’m expecting some gruff responses. I mean, I wouldn’t want a seven year old hanging around my office, let alone a workshop full of industrial equipment. 

But Daniel’s not letting my off the hook any time soon. He claims to be ‘literally dying’ to see some real-life welding, and honestly, what kind of parent would I be to deny him? I can’t have him dying on my watch. I’ve always said I was committed to supporting his passions, whatever they may be, and now’s the time to put my money where my mouth is. Besides, I should probably be stoked that my kid’s showing an interest in engineering. That’s got to be preferable to… I dunno… watching commercial TV.

Fortunately for me, you can find material for kids on just about anything these days, including steel supplies and fabrication. Melbourne probably has an after-school program on the subject. Maybe that’s going a bit far, but I honestly would be that surprised if there was a Lil’ Fabricators program at Daniel’s school. It’s not that bad an idea, really. If my kid’s so obsessed with topic, surely some others are as well. I mean, he certainly didn’t pick it up from me and Sharon, and he must be getting it from somewhere. 

Not that I’ll be volunteering to run this thing, obviously. Actually, I doubt too many people would be jumping at the opportunity to expose a group of seven year olds to welding equipment.