Please cross the following off my list of cumbersome infant luggage essentials:
2 x cots
2 x cot mattresses
a drawer full of cot linen and waterproof matress covers.
5 x baby sleeping bags
When we took the beds apart my fingers caught on the splinters where little teeth had worked through the toxic varnish and soaked the wood soft with saliva. There were dried drops of milk from the thousands of litres I had poured, bleary headed in the pool of light from the fridge into plastic bottles designed to emulate a mother's breast (really? do they?). The stain on the mattress took me back to the night when I had stripped so many sets of vomit covered sheets that I was loading the washing machine at 2am.
My little girls look like cartoon characters in their beds. They are tiny. Someone asked me why I was in such a hurry to get them into beds. I spouted off about never getting into a fight with a travel cot again but the real reason becomes obvious the first night you tuck your littlie into their brand new, grown up bed. Kneeling on the floor I lay my face on the pillow and looked straight into the eyes of my little girl. We smiled at each other in the half light of the hall lamp. I couldn't stop staring at her. Her smell and whispered babble billowed all nagging worries about the minutae of my life out of my head and settled with a deep, deep softness in the very core of my heart.