Monday afternoon my volunteer placement was the shelter. Megan and I brought stuffed chickens made out of cloth with pipe cleaners for feet and googly eyes for the craft. But we were with very little kids, most under 7, so we ended up doing most of the work.
It was my first time at the shelter, and I was particularly fond of a little 3 year-old boy named Sasha. He ran away from me initially, screaming his little head off, but then he warmed up to me. Later on after we finished the craft, I was playing with him on the rug, tickling him while the young girls were playing with Barbie dolls, when I accidentally set my hand on a wet spot of the rug. It has been raining on and off in Yaroslavl for the past couple of weeks, so I really didn’t think anything of it.
A few minutes later though, still playing around with Sasha, he got closer to me and I caught a whiff of the unmistakable, putrid stench of urine. I alerted the translator with us, and she looked for the counselor who had apparently just left the room. One of the older girls asked the translator what was wrong and she admitted that Sasha needed a change of pants.
At this point Sasha, who I had left on the rug when I went to talk to the translator, stood up and started examining his pants, and I’m pretty sure it just dawned on him in that moment. He made a sad, pouty face and Megan started taunting me, saying that I made a poor, helpless toddler wet himself.
Sasha eventually got changed, came back in the room with his pants around his ankles. Not noticing the pants, I gave him a wave and shouted out “privyet Sasha” (hi) and he gave a happy wave back, flashing the room in the process. But Sasha was changed and all was good again.