"So, little guy, this weekend will be a special weekend for you."
My introduction went something like that, as I tried to gently inform le Petit that Mommy and Daddy would be going away for an overnight trip without him for the very first time.
"Do you know who's coming over tomorrow?"
He played with his blocks without looking up, so I continued.
"Grandma and Grandpa are coming over! And they will take you to the park, and play with you, and... little guy?"
"Grandpa and... Gramby!" Le petit stated excitedly.
"No, Grandpa and Gramby are far away right now. We'd have to take a plane to see them. But they're thinking of you I'm sure. Tomorrow you'll see Grandpa G and Grandma F..."
He quickly lost interest again. The love and attention of local grandparents is much less exciting than that of the exotic, transatlantic variety.
"...they'll feed you lunch, and then it'll be nap time," I hesitated and corrected, "Uhhhh, it'll be nap time if you guys decide it'll be nap time, that is..."
I knew all too well that nap time would probably be skipped, a hassle and a hurdle no one short of our nanny or my husband seems able to handle these days, including myself.
"...and then you'll eat dinner, and take a bath, and then you'll go to bed, and Grandma and Grandpa will sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed in case you need them in the middle of the night, so you'll never be alone. Because Mommy and Daddy will be going on a special trip tomorrow, we'll be taking Daddy's car and driving to a nice place. But Mommy and Daddy will come back, because we wouldn't leave you for too long, I promise."
Le Petit kept looking down at his toys, so I asked him again, "Who is coming tomorrow?"
He didn't respond. I started to doubt that anything I'd said had penetrated the enigmatic toddler consciousness when he repeated, slowly, carefully, pleased with himself, "Mommy and Daddy on SPE-CIAL trip!"
Special indeed. We're off to Beaune in the heart of Burgundy tomorrow, where a bed and breakfast (and its hammam!) awaits, along with wine tastings and a birthday dinner at the sort of restaurant where I wouldn't dare walk in with a toddler. I will be able to sleep in late without negotiation, eat meals without interruption, and spend a full 36 hours without once reading Curious George. I can't wait.
But we'll miss le Petit, and maybe more, I suspect, than he will miss us.