“My Mommy Comes Back” on Throwback Thursday

Last month my oldest son, Zach, turned 30. He is an amazing young man and earns a living as a touring musician. Music has always been a part of his life and we love watching him perform. I’ve been a bit surprised at my own reaction when saying, “I have a 30 year old!” Yikes! It feels like yesterday that he was just starting kindergarten. Where did the time go? Is he really that old? (Which really means, “Am I really that old?”).


I don’t’ think I realized then how instrumental music was for him. Like most of us, we started early. It just seemed natural to sing to him as an infant and to use music in his early play. One song that really sticks out in my memory was Hap Palmer’s, My Mommy Comes Back. When I considered this song for Throwback Thursday, I wasn’t sure it was old enough to be defined as “Throwback” but then I looked at the clothing in the video and decided it fits perfectly.



At about 15 months old, I remember Zach hitting the dreaded stage of separation anxiety. It seemed to happen over night. When I had to take him to a sitter or to childcare, he would cling with all his might and cry as if I was leaving him to be tortured. It was agonizing for all of us. We started singing this song on our way to the babysitter’s house and found that it helped calm him. We made it part of the routine before leaving him anywhere and it really helped him through this tough time. When Zach’s two younger siblings entered that separation anxiety phase, we sang it to them as well. (I asked my daughter, now 25, if she remembered it and she launched into the entire first verse!).


What I also loved about this song is how easily we could substitute “daddy” for mommy. (Just like we inserted “Mommy” on another Hap Palmer toddler favorite, Daddy Be A Horsey).  This song is easily adapted to accommodate most any family situation. “Nana comes back . . .”;  “Uncle Danny comes back . . .”; “Grandpa comes back . . .”; “My sister comes back . . .”; “My caregiver comes back. . .”  etc.

What is important in soothing a child through separation anxiety is trust of the primary attachment figures in the child’s life. Because I worked as a social worker with foster families, I am keenly aware that not all children have this experience. Many children are abandoned or harmed by their mommies and daddies and do not have the trusting relationship that babies and toddlers so desperately need. Furthermore, the trust built in those first few years of life is so very important to long-term social-emotional health.


I do admit that I sometimes felt a twinge of trepidation, considering, “What if something happens to me, and I can’t come back?” But this fear just showed that separation anxiety goes both ways. And it nudged me to be a tad more attentive when carrying for my children and a tad more careful when away from them.


My Mommy Comes Back

Words: Martha Cheney and Hap Palmer Music: Hap Palmer

©Hap-Pal Music all rights reserved. Lyrics published with permission.



Sometimes my mommy takes me over

To another friends house to play

Sometimes I only stay a little while

Sometimes I stay all day, but



My mommy comes back

She always comes back

She always comes back to get me

My mommy comes back

She always comes back

She never would forget me


Sometimes I worry when she leaves me

I hope she won’t be gone too long

But when I’m with my friends and having fun

I soon forget she’s gone, and


Repeat Chorus:


Sometimes I visit with my grandma

While my mommy goes somewhere

We bake some cookies and we read a book

And rock in the rocking chair, and

Repeat Chorus:


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For more information: www.happalmer.com


Article by CMN Blog Team Member Alice Burba

1 comment

  1. As I played the video just now my 22 year old came tearing out of his room, laughing that he identified the song by the first chords heard across the house. And he started reminiscing about how we used to sing the song. Meanwhile, like you Alice, I remembered the twinge of a worried mother every time I sang him the song when he was little, “what if something happens to me and I don’t get back? That would really cause a child to NOT trust….”
    what a powerful little song!

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