The Loss of an “On-Demand” Movie: The Toddler Stages of Grief

When you have a toddler and their favorite On Demand movie has been removed from the “free” list, the pain is real. They can go from adorable, funny, and sweet to a possessed spawn of Satan as soon as they realize the movie is really gone. This is a death to them.

Like any loss, there are stages of grief. Here are the five stages of toddler “movie-loss” grief”

1. Denial
It can’t be gone. No way is it really gone. It was just here yesterday. This is not happening. The “Monkey Movie” cannot really be gone. Parents: Please note, this is the warning stage. Shit is about to get real.

2. Anger
You better be kidding me. You get that movie back before I go “Godzilla” on this place. I will destroy you and everything in this house. Parents: The toddler anger stage is one of the strongest and most dangerous forces on earth. This is when the screaming, crying, biting, flailing, kicking, and head-spinning starts. You can’t reason, you can’t argue, you can’t bribe, and you can’t restrain. There is no telling how long this stage will last. Just stand back and watch the amazing (yet terrifying) show until they move along into the bargaining stage.

3. Bargaining
Just turn it back on. I’ll be really sweet and cuddly if you just turn it back on. Please? I’ll be your best friend? I might even consider eating some of my dinner. Please? Parents: It is unknown as to exactly what happens for the toddler to move from the anger phase to the bargaining phase. It could really be anything…. possibly pure exhaustion from the monumental tantrum in the anger stage. But beware, if you still don’t give them the answer that they want, they may revert back into the “anger stage”.

4. Depression
None of these other movies can even come close to comparing to the “Baby Monkey Movie.” There will never be another one. I will cry myself to sleep every night dreaming of the movie that once was. My little toddler life is over. Parents: This stage also has a lot of crying. Less screaming, but lots of crying. Hugs may help.

5. Acceptance
This new cartoon is not so bad, I guess. There are some funny parts in it. There is even a different monkey that is alright. Maybe I could get used to this. Parents: this is the stage where that cute, adorable, loving toddler slowly returns. You’ve made it through…at last for the next five minutes until the next crisis.

And the cycle then repeats itself with the new movie. Damn you “On-Demand” you are a blessing and a curse.

Barrie Bismark

Barrie Bismark is sarcastic, vocal, stubborn, strong-willed, and kind of a pain in the ass. She’s been married to her husband for 11 years and has three beautiful children: a boy (8), girl (6), and girl (3). Barrie currently works full-time and in her free time she enjoys…oh wait – she has no free time. She loves spending as much time as she can with her husband and children. Being a mom is one of the hardest things she has ever done, but also one of the most rewarding. She is amazed every day at the chaos, laughs, adventures, and exhaustion that motherhood brings.

Barrie has been featured on Scary Mommy, Babble, Parent Co., Sammiches and Psych Meds, The Tribe Magazine, Her View from Home, For Every Mom, and is a contributing writer on Modern Mom. Follow her antics at
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