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I hadn’t seen my kids all day so it was extra painful to sit back and watch my little boy sob in the corner. I’m not a fan of discipline in any context but I do my best not to override my husband when he puts the boys in time out. Allen was in the kitchen slicing and plating a pizza while I seated the other kids around a movie we’d picked up for the occasion.

My son’s wails continued and my stomach twisted proportionately. “Honey…” I called to my husband. “Are we about done with this? I’m in pain.” William was immediately in my face asking, “What hurts, Mommy?”

“My heart hurts because your brother is sad,” I replied. And he was gone. Allen came around the corner just in time to see Will’s tail disappear up the stairs and hollered, “Dinner’s ready, Will. Come back down.”

We passed out dinner plates and Allen launched into his post-time-out discussion with the offending boy. Seconds later, I was nose to nose with a stuffed, green bunny; William’s head bobbed behind it. “Here, Mom. This is for your heart. To make you feel better.” He hugged me and then turned to plop down in front of his pizza. I did feel better. In fact, I still do.