Things seem to have gotten measurably easier recently. C is nearly 6 months old and I think this age is some turning point. He can now play for longer periods of time by himself and can simply hang out with less frustration. He really enjoys his exersaucer and doesn't mind the car seat as long as he has a toy to suck on. This means mostly F has a bit more space to lollygag. In the car C isn't as impatient to get moving so I'm more patient while F jacks around before climbing in her seat. The other day C fell asleep on the way to the library so I put his carseat, with him sleeping, in the stroller when we got there. During our visit he woke up but just looked around from the comfort of the stroller. As we left the library F wanted to go to the playground that's behind the building. Normally this wouldn't have been possible, but I parked C in the shade under a tree and he just enjoyed the light coming through the branches while I pushed F on the swing.
He thinks his big sister is the most fabulous person on the planet. She stands in front of him and sings and he squeals at the absolute top of his lungs. He doesn't get this excited about me, and I've even got the boobs. It makes me so happy to see him respond to her like this. And she loves him to pieces. Lately (and I need to knock on wood as I write this) she has stopped hitting him and is just so sweet. When he fusses she strokes him, very softly, on the head. She brings him toys and wants to help with his diaper. She pushes him gently in the little swing outside. She's mostly given up on insisting he take a paci, but sometimes it's worth another try. Yesterday she tried to pick him up from where he sat in his Bumbo on the floor. This entailed wrapping her arms around his head and pulling. When I saw her I said, "No no no nonononono" and she just let go, which made him sort of sproing back into his seat. He looked so startled. The whole thing scared me to death, though it was minor I'm sure compared to things to come.
It's funny to me that this is my life. I, an only child, have two children very very close in age. Funny. My life.