Wood chips in general, I hear, don't impart too much "wood" flavor. What they do is act as more surface area for yeast to cling too, thus accelerating the aging process. Undesirable byproducts of fermentation (diacetyl and acetaldehyde), in order to be reduced, require yeast and beer to interact. The more surface area they have to work with (chips settled out on the bottom) the better the whole thing works. I doubt they would ruin your batch.
Who knows if this would even be practical for just five gallons though?
The chips will probably float, so you'll need to put them in a hops bag or something with weight. Or you can cook um' first?
Congratulations on the little guy! I would definitely add the ash wood, but I'm all for symbolism. How about brewing a barleywine in his honor, instead of a stout? You could age it until his 21st birthday?
Hope it turns out well either way!