Today I spent 4 hours wielding an allen key, a screwdriver, a shifting spanner and a tin of tomatoes in lieu of a rubber mallet. I worked up quite a sweat actually, dismantling one of the last vestiges of infanthood into tidy stacks of timber. I was sweating so much that I didn't have time to think about what I was doing, which was putting away the cot. Forever.
As I carried up the cast iron pieces for the girls' two new big beds I was worrying more about my deltoids than the fact that the two cot sized mattresses leaning against the laundry have been used for the last time. As I pinched my fingers whacking the sprung slats into place I was squawking in pain instead of thinking about the fact that I will never rest my forehead against the smooth heritage timber again while singing Amazing Grace and stroking a damp curly head.
As I stripped off plastic protectors from the heavy bedheads I simultaneously kicked the cot manchester that has been used now for nearly 5 years into the laundry without thinking how much I had enjoyed hanging the bright sheets on the line and making up my tiny little beds for my tiny little girls.
As the new ikea mattresses were stripped of their plastic and zapping me with endless static electricity I looked at how long it was. This adult sized mattress. For a bed I can sleep in. And I cursed yet another arrythmia inducing shock and lugged them up the 2 flights of stairs, not thinking about how tiny my little girls would look stretched out on top of them.
As I put on new mattress protectors, new sheets, new quilts and covers, new pillowcases and decorative pillows I marvelled at how grown up the patterns were. No duckies, soft pastels or whimsical bunnies: in its place bright Indian elephants, rich pink colours and fairies in a garden with butterflies all around. Ric rac decoratively across the end of the quilt. Big pillows, the same size I use instead of the much loved, much cuddled junior pillows.
As I vacuumed, laid out the new rug, and picked up the homemade (not by me) quilt that usually festively adorns the floor (but is now too big to fit between the large beds) I wondered at how different the room looks. Not a babies room any more, but a room for big girls, girls that giggle and chatter and have sleep overs with their friends. Girls that choose their own clothes and have holidays with Grandma and Grandad for a week at a time without needing Mum.
It wasn't until tonight, with the Elfling and Monkey jubilantly bouncing on their new quilts, excitedly comparing their festive pillows as they snuggled in, clasping soft toys in either arm their soft curls falling on the new pillows that I realised what it really meant.
And surprisingly, I was OK.