In recent weeks, Teen Mom Nation members have seen Amber Portwood’s bitter meltdowns over Kristina Shirley.
She blames daughter Leah’s feelings of alienation and abandonment on the woman who was there for her.
Naturally, this narrative also played out with a vengeance on their reality show, MTV’s Teen Mom OG.
Amber’s complaints prompted Kristina to break down into tears wishing that Amber were a better mom.
On this week’s Teen Mom OG, Gary and Kristina had a lot to process about Amber.
"There’s always an excuse," Amber complained over the phone to Gary.
"I’m priority," she insisted. "I’m not getting my one-on-one time."
"You don’t do things," Gary countered, "and all of the sudden, you want to?"
"You know, you don’t like going out of the house," he observed.
Gary listed: "You don’t like going out to eat."
Is that really a concern, specifically?
A bewildered Amber certainly didn’t think so. She replied: "Yeah, for about a half a f–king year."
The MTV star noted that she changed her habits to be a "hermit" in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We call out Amber when she’s wrong, but she’s right about this, assuming she’s being honest.
It is probably still not safe to eat in restaurants.
But as the conversation went on, Gary made it clear that this is a plea for Amber to put Leah first.
"It’s not about your drama or my drama, it’s about Leah," he told his former partner and co-parent.
Amber declared "I’m done," though clearly, we only saw a minced version of that conversation.
"Today I spoke with Amber," Gary said, as viewers then saw him relate to his wife, Kristina.
"And," he described, "she said ‘You and Kristina hinder my relationship with my daughter.’"
"It’s like all of a sudden, you want to do stuff with Leah," Gary observed, still in disbelief.
Gary remarked again that this is an abrupt 180, in his view: "It’s all of a sudden."
Frustrated, he then asked, rhetorically: "After how long, you know?"
His wife understood exactly where the Big Guy was coming from.
"It’s like Leah wants to give up," Kristina acknowledged of the young girl’s mentality.
"But," she lamented, referring to Amber Portwood, "you are the one encouraging it."
"And I support that," Kristina said of Gary’s desire for Amber to make more of an effort.
"I also want her to have a relationship with her mom," Kristina emphasized.
"But," she added, just as importantly, "I also want Amber to follow through."
"And," Kristina stressed, she wants Amber to "put Leah for once first."
"Leah is hurt and it all stems from the past," Kristina continued, not letting Amber off the hook.
"It stems from, you know, her going to prison, getting out of prison," she noted.
"And," Kristina recalled, "she got with Matt and she pushed Leah to the side."
"Then comes back to Leah and gets with Andrew," Kristina narrated, referring to Portwood’s next relationship, which resulted in a son.
"And then," she continued, "pushes Leah to the side, like."
It’s heartbreaking to think of a preteen like Leah realizing how she has been set aside in favor of her mother’s life choices.
Gary expressed his frustration that Amber blamed not herself, but Kristina, for the current state of her life.
"She wasn’t there as a mom," Gary observed, and to be fair, he’s largely correct in that assessment.
"And," he continued, "now it’s somebody else’s fault."
"She feels threatened," Kristina recognized, claiming that she’s always tried to support Amber within reason.
She added: "I’ve never been there to step on her toes."
Kristina reiterated: "I’ve never been there to replace her."
"I wish she was a little more respectful and grateful for what you do for Leah," Kristina told him.
"Even what I do," she added.
"Yesterday, I took her and got her a flu shot," Kristina noted. "Today I took her to the dentist."
"Amber don’t do those things," Kristina lamented, and while that’s upsetting, she feels comfortable in her own skin.
"She can bad-mouth me all she wants," she stressed.
"But I guess I can sleep at night knowing that I’ve done good by Leah," Kristina expressed.
"And if it wasn’t for me," Kristina continued, "Leah wouldn’t have a mom still in her life."
"Think about this, how long did it take Leah to talk to her?" Kristina continued.
"12 years to talk to her own mother about how she was feeling," she said, "to get it off her chest."
"It took her 12 years! I’m over it," Kristina remarked, tearing up.
Gary thanked her for being such a good role model for Leah.
"I just feel Leah feeling abandoned and whatever she feels," Kristina said.
"No 12-year-old should ever feel like that."