We attended a family event a few weeks ago. The photographer was Marj Kleinman, and because she’s a good friend of mine, she offered to take some family photos.
At first, our posing looked cute, but it lacked something special.
Then we noticed that Quentin was holding his arms out wide and so we decided to take his lead.
But… Quentin was sticking out his tongue! So shouldn’t we all? We made the group decision to join him in a tongue-sticking-out-style photo, and of course that’s just when Quentin decided he wasn’t going to do that anymore. Yup.
Why was he making such an odd pose? He was mimicking a photo in one of his favorite books, of course! Quentin has been fascinated with the Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems for quite some time. (See this old post about scripting from one of the books.) Posing for pictures, he of course thinks of the one moment in Knuffle Bunny Free (the third book) when Trixie and her family are in Holland, posing for pictures with the windmills.
With Quentin, every moment seems to be acting out something he’s seen or heard. With his autistic brain, life is constantly imitating art. Communication is simply scripted language. Posing for a photo is re-enacting a moment already conceptualized. So of course, our pictures end up like this. Frankly, it’s not terrible. We’ve had much worse.
In fact, maybe he’s on to something here. In the end, we did finally get a great shot of Fiona and Quentin together.
Now, can anyone recommend a Mo Willems book where the character sits in the same seat during the entire meal? Because THEN we are on to something!