The reason that I mentioned this today is that we're currently hip deep in an arc in which the kids torment one another with the question of who Mommy and Daddy love best. While it is true that even normal, healthy kids spend a lot of their time growing up asking that very question, the Pattermanse is not a normal, healthy environment. We are dealing with gloomy children whose default attitude is a rather appalling negativity. The reason that they mope and whine about how ev'ryone loves someone else the best the instant after they notice that that someone is getting attention they want is that deep down, they don't really expect to get attention. Mike, as a for instance, is convinced that he'll be tossed out and cursed at for daring to want to waste his parents' time now that he's been replaced. What he doesn't realize is that since he can carry on the family name and glorify his parents, he'll always be loved the best.
Not, of course, that he realizes it. Much as Arthur's intrusive, yapping and whiny pain-in-the-neck sister DW is too busy feeling sorry for herself to notice that her parents have made a fetish of catering to her every stupid whim while lecturing her brother about being a bully, Mike thinks his back is against the wall when it ain't. In both cases, hilarity ensues.