Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Of Child Models and Other Demons

If I have ever been able to get nice photos of Joaquin wearing my handmade products for kids, those days are starting to fade surely, and not very slowly.

These days, now that we walk, run, roll, play, and have an agenda of our own, every time I pull out the camera and aim it at my kid model, I get a lot of floor…

floor shot

… escape attempts…

escape shot

… intense and sudden interest in highly concentrated activities that hide the garment away from the camera…

The Stress Test

… or that put it at risk of getting dirty or visibly worn. Like say, rubbing one’s body against the floor, or breaking into a sudden interest in playing with lethal markers. So when I stop him from such activities, of course I get some of this:

crying shot

So today, I had him wear one of the “Little P” shirts I just finished, without much hope of getting any good photos at all. And we were going through the beginning stages of the typical photo shoot session with Don Joaquin, when suddenly he motions to be ready to throw himself on the floor and do some rolling, rubbing, and dragging, and I’m all NO! You can’t do that with THIS shirt. So he protests vociferously, and goes and gets his other shirt and hands it to me, like saying “FINE, then put me on the shirt I CAN trash”.

A little background — Joaquin’s speaking skills are not as developed as those of other children his age because he’s being raised in a bilingual environment (I only speak Spanish to him, and he gets English from his dad and everything else around him), and although we know that he understands a lot, some times his level of understanding takes us by surprise. So I was very impressed by this maneuver of handing me the shirt of freedom, and realizing that he clearly understood what was going on, I asked him please! to willingly pose for just a few photos for mommy. And he did!

Little P by mafemaria Little P by mafemaria

(tell me if that fake smile isn’t adorable)

So I snapped for a few minutes (all I thought I could get) and thanked him so much for his help. And after changing his shirt, I offered a fruit strip in compensation for his services.

So maybe there’s hope. I don’t know. But just in case, I have a new little friend that is already helping me fill the gaps when Joaquin doesn’t cooperate.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ernesto…

Ernesto Lil' P modeled by Ernesto
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  1. On , Vivienne wrote:

    Y porque se llama Ernesto? ;)

  2. On , Petie wrote:

    I like the ones with Joaquin better. No offense, Ernesto. …but I know that they either want to cooperate or not. There isn’t much we can do to change their minds.

  3. On , Maria wrote:

    No, there isn’t. And that goes for photos, food, potty training, etc. Right now we’re struggling with his sudden hate for milk. It’s been a month or so. Problem is he also hates yogurt, and won’t eat much cheese. Also rejected a “candy” calcium pill Joey got for him to try. It’s Joaquin’s way or Don Joaquin’s way…