This has been the case for Rocky, Marion and me. Since Marion's time with Rocky for most of the week is limited to when he gets home from work (minus the time she's eating dinner, minus the time she's bathing, and until before lights out), they don't really get to play around so much. When she was a baby (I think this is the first time I'm saying it here-- she's not a baby anymore!!), I was a little bit wary of how he would handle her so I rarely left him with her (okay, maybe I was just the anxious first time mom). But these days, I make it a point to step out of the room and leave the two of them alone to play. Rocky needs her hugs and smiles and laughter, too. :-)
I know I won't forever be her most favorite person. She'll grow up and we'll most likely have our mother-daughter issues. Even before we had her, Rocky always liked to teased me that he will be the "cool parent" because I won't be. That's probably true. ;p So, I'm prepared that she won't always run to the door to greet me with her squeals and smiles. The thing is, that's not something in the far future. Some days, I deal with that already.
Marion loves her Guama (my mom). I'm pleasantly surprised since they don't really see each other all that often. But Marion doesn't mind staying with Guama, sitting on her lap, showing off, being affectionate, etc.. Just a few days ago, Guama was in town. My mom and I were eating lunch at the dining table when Marion starts shouting "Ma!" Ma!" Ma!" trying to show off a toy. When my mom and I turned to her, I realized that she was calling her Guama and not "mama! mama!". I actually really love how attached she is to her Guama. She even ran to the main door and pressed her face against the screen door while waiting for her Guama to come in the house. It's really nice. :-)
Also, Marion's had a yaya from the day she was born. So she's always had someone else act as a care-giver. When she was a few months old, Marion would wail and cry every single night (probably up til she was like 3 months old... that bad.). There were a couple of nights when it got so bad (or I was just too exhausted to do more) that her yaya would come to the room to help me calm her down. And Marion would quiet down. While I was so grateful that her yaya got her to quiet down, it made me question why I couldn't do it myself.
We were dealing with a lot of issues when she was just born. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer a week after Marion's birth. I would go to the hospital after every 2 hours (Marion's feeding) or after pumping. While she was mostly directly breastfed, I wasn't really with her during the day during those early months.
I think things might have become a bigger issue with me, but it got nipped in the bud. I got the reassurance I needed to hear from a friend. I was telling her how things were going (how it was like having a new baby and all that) when she told me that in case it was in my mind, she told me not to worry about Marion "loving" her yaya more. She went on to say that she grew up with yayas (her mom was busy) but she always knew her mom was mom.
What got me thinking about all this again is because just a couple of days ago:
a) After yaya came back from her overnight day off, Marion cried so hard and stood up to hold her yaya's hand when she saw her. She was fine the entire day yaya was out and didn't give any indication that she was looking for yaya.
b) That evening, after yaya dressed her in pajamas I went in her room to play with her and put her to bed. Again, she cried and didn't want her yaya to leave the room.
c) The next morning, when I knocked on the door to her room, instead of saying "In!" for "Come in", she was telling me "Ba-bye! Ba-bye!".
I deal with it patiently. I usually ask yaya to stay in the room until Marion's okay. I'm not pushy. I don't try to win her over with tricks or toys. I'll just sit, talk to her and wait for her to approach me. Yaya will usually tell Marion that "Yaya has to eat dinner" or "Yaya has to take a bath". Eventually Marion's protestations will be reduced to a short whine as yaya leaves the room and then she's fine.
This is probably just the inevitable happening. The inevitable that happens sooner for working moms. I don't want to play tug of war with her yaya or Rocky or anyone else for the "Marion's favorite person" status. This is one of those instances when it's more about her than it is about me. As long as I love her (and I always will) and she knows that she is loved, all shall be well. :-) As my friend had told me, I'll always be mom.