To say that people have questioned Amber Portwood’s qualifications as a mother is an understatement.
Leah is growing up, and it’s really no surprise that she is adding her voice to the chorus.
In this clip, you can see Gary try to talk his preteen daughter into spending time with her mom.
Leah is just not feeling it. She explains why, and honestly, can you blame her?
This Teen Mom OG sneak peek begins at Amber’s home in Indiana.
“A couple of weeks ago Leah got really upset when our plans fell through,” she says in reference to the March 23 episode.
“And,” Amber reports, “things have felt off ever since.”
At that time, Amber had canceled plans to do Leah’s makeup because she was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
The pandemic has ruined so many opportunities for families.
However, Amber is now expressing hope that they can “be together,” and packs a tidy bag of makeup brushes.
We then see Gary Shirley’s home.
This is where Leah lives with Gary and his wife, Kristina.
Gary is approaching his 12-year-old daughter about her birthday plans.
Leah, who is eating what looks like a delicious piece of colby-jack string cheese, has some ideas in mind.
“I want to do something with friends and go shopping and get our nails done and go to lunch,” she tells her dad.
She lists her intended guests for the family side: Gary, Kristina, little sister Emilee, and grandma Tanya.
Gary immediately, as a cooperative co-parent, reminds Leah about Amber.
Leah, very age-appropriately, makes a face of reluctance.
“I don’t want to,” she protests about inviting her mother to take part in her birthday plans.
“I’d tell you it’s really important that, you know, you spend time with your mom,” Gary counsels.
That’s not how Leah sees things at all.
She notes: “We don’t really have a bond like that.”
“Twelve years and she hasn’t really done anything,” Leah expresses.
She points out that Gary’s wife has been more of a mother to her:
Specifically, Leah says: “That’s kind of been like Kristina’s spot.”
There has been more than just lack of interest behind Amber’s absence.
Amber has a lengthy criminal history and also served 17 months in prison from 2012-2013.
In fact, Amber is currently on probation for her latest attack — this time, on Andrew Glennon.
Kristina notes: “I’m just the bonus mom, though.”
Gary chimes in: “I don’t want you writing your mom off and saying ‘I can’t have a relationship with her.'”
He expresses a hope that “at some point” Leah and Amber will be on good terms.
Leah is not feeling that way at all.
“All she did was just give birth to me and then just kind of left,” she countered.
Gary countered: “She might not have always been there, but she was there.”
Is sometimes really good enough? Clearly, Leah doesn’t feel that way, and she’s not wrong.
But Gary stresses that he doesn’t want Leah “missing out” on the chance to bond with Amber.
He reasons that Leah “won’t have what [she] missed” if she doesn’t invite Amber into her life.
Finally, Leah agrees after seeing how important this is to her father.
“I guess that maybe she can come to the family party,” she says with a reluctant tone.
Triumphant, Gary sends Amber a text message to invite her to Leah’s family-side birthday celebration.