I am not sure if this holds true to all kids but I think that kids tend to be more sensitive to their parents (mum especially) than other people.
Case in point.
Ryan has always got a soft spot for me .... I sometimes pretend that I am crying because he does not want to kiss/ hug me. And he will always give in and give me kisses/ hugs. Sometimes I will also pretend that I am sad and Ryan will always come around and try to hug me till I smile. There are also times when I pretend I am in pain (usually when I want to prove a point especially with knives/ scissors etc.) or I cut myself etc. and will cry to show him that it is painful. Every single time I do this, Ryan will end up crying louder and more pitiful that I will. And this is dreadful because it hurts Ryan to see me in pain and so this stunt is reserved for special cases.
Just now when putting him to bed, I'd asked for my kiss and he playfully refused. And I proceeded to be sad. Ryan immediately said "Mummy don't be sad, don't be sad. I kiss you. I give you big big kiss." Naturally I gave in for that wonderful kiss.
Last week when Ryan was at my mum's, my mum decided to play with Ryan and pretended to be sad and cry. Ryan was immediately in anger and this is what he said.
Ryan: You see your mouth. How many times must I tell you, you never listen to me. I take a ruler and smack you ah. You see my eyes, I so angry ah. (Ok, so I talk like this to him, but to have him repeat them logically, wow!)
My mum got a shock. She half expected to be sympathetic and hug her but instead got scolded!
Therefore I am convinced that there is a difference when a child reacts to the mother and when he/ she reacts to strangers, even if it is the identical situation. I am happy that Ryan places my happiness on such high levels now, hope he will continue to be like this as he gets older, especially when he reaches his teens.
Bless that child.