But there is no Dora the Explorer band-aid for the pain she feels about preschool coming to its inevitable end. "How many more days? Tell me, tell me."
It's 8:30, and the light is fading, but I can still see her. She shuts her eyes tight and wails. Tears squeeze out and over her cheeks. "No! No! Oh, but I will miss my teachers. Are you sure? Are you sure it's not eight more days? Because two isn't very many. It's like, 'one, two,' and that's it," she says. She is shaking. "Can you talk to them?"
"To your teachers?"
"What do you want me to say?"
"Ask them for one hundred more days. I need one hundred more. I'm too small for Kindergarten."
"Okay, you can tell them that. Tell them tomorrow on the train trip."
"I'm too embarrassed." More shaking, more crying. Her bangs are soaked with tears. "Oh! Oh! Oh!" she yells.
"Shhhh. It's okay, I know it's hard."
"Don't 'shhhhhh' me, Mama. Oh, please help me."
But I am no help at all. If there's one thing I've finally come to understand in this year of turning forty, it's this: I can put both hands up on the hour hand and push until I'm out of breath, but I can't stop time.