Video Review: Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley “Thanks For My Child”

Wearing a red shirt, a young man runs away while a 4-year-old boy watches him. A red train set flies in the air. Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley sits by the window in her kitchen.

Her 4-year-old son walks from his bedroom to hers. She sits up in bed and smiles at him.

The red toy train set runs on a track.

It rotates to black-and-white in the kitchen as she sits. Her 4-year-old draws his father’s red shirt. Back in black-and-white, the young man continues to run.

He draws his mother. She crawls on the floor as she plays with him. She blows bubbles and holds a blanket over her head as she plays peek-a-boo. Lit in Parisian blue, she lies awake in bed. A Mickey Mouse clock turns.

Her 4-year-old draws his babysitter as an overbearing monster hovering him. She chases him around the family room. She puts his shirt on for him and says she loves him. He says he loves her, too. Back in black-and-white, the young man continues to run.

Rating: 5/5

Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley hangs up the drawing her son’s father on the refrigerator. Despite the fact his father left them, he still loved him. He asked about his father sometimes and wanted to know if he was going to visit them soon. It broke her heart. She explained that his daddy lived far away and may not be able to see them. He asked to call his daddy. She said daddy didn’t give it to them. His son slumped in his chair and threw his spoon. She gave him a hug and says he has Nonna and Nonni, who love him very much and they come over to see him. He whimpers and says he misses his daddy. She says she misses him. too.

The kindergarten teacher calls her for a meeting. She says she can’t make it until next week. His teacher says it needs to be as soon as possible. She says she’ll ask to leave earlier from work. In the classroom, the kindergarten teacher shows her a drawing of the babysitter and asks her if she’s aware of any problems. She says the young woman she hired followed her rules to the letter. Her teacher he seems to be scared of her. Riley explains that her babysitter has yelled at him. However, she doesn’t hit him in any way shape or form. There are no bruises on him. His teacher thanks for coming in. She shakes his teacher’s hand and says she has head back home to give the babysitter a break.

Back at home, he calls out “Mommy!” and gives her a hug. She picks him up and asks him if he’s been good. He says he’s been the bestest. The babysitter says he ate his snacks and picked up his toys. She says she’s going to make dinner if she wants to stay. His babysitter says she has to study for a test. Riley tells her “good luck!” She says “thanks” and tells the 4-year-old she’ll see him tomorrow.

During dinner, Riley explains that he can’t draw mean drawings of his babysitter. He says that she makes him clean up his room and doesn’t leave him alone. She says that it’s her job and he can’t say things that aren’t true. He says  he’s sorry. She says she forgives him. He asks if he can go play. She says it’s okay.

Director: N/A Year: 1988

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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