M4 has reached an age where he can play independently or with the older kids for longer stretches of time. We have cycles of relative peace or strife around here and I think we are in a good stretch now. Saturday morning the kids played in the girls' room for ages and at other times they tend to look for each other for occupation instead of asking me to help them find something to do.
Yesterday Papa and I were both getting ready for work and I had a chance to admire how nice it is for them to have each other. M3 had a reading log to turn in for preschool that day and she had 37 of the 40 lines filled up. M2 saw her sheet and exclaimed, "Catie, I have 3 library books I can read to you! I can read them before school!" They got dressed and ready and she listened as he read about Mambas, Aligators, and Pythons. They found me later so that I could help record the last books. They were both excited to have figured out a way to fill up the sheet.
MG gets ready very efficiently in the morning, compared to the rest of us. Some days she'll come back into the kitchen and happily sit with M4 while he finishes his breakfast. They giggle and chat and it frees Papa or I up to get ourselves ready. Yesterday after breakfast she helped him down and then humored him by buying play food from the grocery store he was operating.
The older two have always been fairly tolerant of the younger two, but it is sweet to see them choosing to help without it being suggested.