I have known this for some time now, but tonight it really hit me- I am at times extra hard on Nicole and I need to chill out a bit. It all started when I was cleaning my car and both girls must have been bored out there with me and started irritating each other and tattling. It didn't stop in the pool or at home or at dinner- both doing any little thing they could just to annoy each other and to see how far they could push my buttons. The funny thing is that I know this is totally normal, and my expectations of them getting along 100% of the time and being "perfect little angels" all of the time is completely ridiculous and impossible.
I have been catching myself nitpicking every little thing Nicole does- "Pick that up, stop copying her, don't do that, you're not listening!". Part of it definitely is her testing me and there are some things (such asking for things in a kind way by saying please and thank you, not jumping on the living room furniture or rocking the chair into the wall anymore because it scrapes the paint off the wall, or not pulling on things in my car because I don't want them to break) that I won't tolerate, especially because she knows the rules.
I completely understand that kids need to be kids but I also believe teaching them respect and to care for our things and for others isn't something that I am willing to compromise on. However, I do think we need to meet in the middle. She shouldn't do gymnastics on the couch but maybe next time I give her the option of doing it in her room on her own bed or on her floor instead of just telling her over and over to stop.
I want both my girls to feel they can completely be themselves here and with us and I want them to feel safe and comfortable while also respecting others. I don't want to nitpick every little thing they do. I know I will never get parenting right 100% of the time and I will keep making mistakes (as we all do!) and learning from them but moving forward, I am going to keep this in the back of my mind and focus more on the positives and work on loosening up more and meeting her in the middle.