We noted several areas for improvement that we think will help Emma reach the board-recommended goal of self-actualization by age seven.

Illustration by Shannon Corey/The Six Fifty

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Veron,

Printed on this Etsy-sourced eggshell stationery is your child’s progress report for today. Overall, Emma Gladstone-Fitzgerald Veron was well-behaved, but we noted several areas for improvement that we think will help Emma reach the board-recommended goal of self-actualization by age seven. Here at Los Altos Daycare, we pride ourselves on providing a nurturing environment for the next generation’s movers and shakers. As always, Emma and her peers are our first priority.

Lunchtime Etiquette: 6 / 10

Emma remained mostly quiet during lunchtime, finishing her organic pressed kale juice as usual. However, she made quite a scene when she discovered that her raw almond butter and Blenheim apricot jam sandwich was not on gluten-free bread. Emma’s public loss of self-control seems to have emboldened the other children, who began to fling food at their individually assigned 27” iMacs. As an area of improvement, we recommend switching over to gluten-free bread.

Illustration by Shannon Corey/The Six Fifty

Napping and Mindfulness: 10 / 10

Based on our metrics from last week, Emma displayed noticeable signs of improvement in the Napping and Mindfulness category today. When this week’s assigned Naptime Captain, Billy Clark-Benedict Luther Axelrod III, rang the Tibetan gong to cue the start of naptime, Emma promptly crossed her legs and entered into a self-induced Vispassana meditation state that lasted twenty minutes. After that, she coiled into a South Indian Yogi fetal position and proceeded to suck on her thumb during her ten-minute power nap. Given that Emma is only four years old, we were impressed by her precocious behavior in this category. We recommend no change.

Critical Thinking: 2 / 10

This was Emma’s weakest area. For reference, we put the children through our patent-pending pattern-recognition test to assess critical thinking skills. After laying out on the floor ten different tote bags, we asked each child to match the bag with its grocery store of origin (e.g., The Milk Pail, Farmers Market on California Avenue, etc.). Emma was unable to match a single tote to its store, even the Whole Foods bag, identifiable to many children half her age. The only reason we awarded her two points is that she made an astute observation on the unjustifiably high price of organic Hass avocados.

Despite her poor performance in the Critical Thinking category, Emma is developing a knack for the liberal arts, as evinced by her insightful commentary on the growing inequality inherent in 21st-century capitalism. Because of her poor performance in critical thinking, however, we recommend enrollment in a Comparative Literature class on Khan Academy while maintaining her on a stable diet of NPR.


As always, we hope today’s progress report is useful. Given Emma’s stellar rating in the Napping and Mindfulness category, we strongly recommend accelerating her education by signing her up for a 60-day Transcendental Meditation retreat.


Los Altos Day Care

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Irving Ruan

Irving Ruan Irving Ruan

SF-based comedy writer. Words in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Funny Or Die, CollegeHumor, and elsewhere.

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