The most offensive word for my 2.5 year-old daughter is a b-word. B, of course, stands for baby. It's amazing how much she wants to grow up. She came from her preschool very excited last week and told us that the teacher was measuring them and she grew an inch. She keeps talking about growing into a big girl with big breasts and then into mommy. I can see why adult world has so much allure for her. Adults get to eat things that are not allowed to her (such as candies with alcohol in it), drive cars and stay up late. They are also all knowing and all powerful to her innocent eyes. And she wants to be powerful too. She tries so hard to be a big girl - she got a lot better in voluntarily cleaning up her toys, she wants to help in cleaning the table after dinner, and she is beyond excited when she is able to help in dinner preparation. However, chores are still beyond her ability of following up. I tried to get her to water the flowers in the front yard, but her enthusiasm only lasted 2 days. Still, every time she gets to make a decision and to accomplish something on her own, she makes a small but important step on the road to true competence. I hope that one day she will grow into a big girl who is able and willing to take responsibility for her own success.
For additional reading - here is an interesting article that I unearthed on the subject of raising competent children - Competence.