Teen Mom OG star Amber Portwood has been experiencing a strain on her relationship with her daughter, Leah, whom she shares with her ex, Gary Shirley. The strain really came to a head after Portwood canceled her plans to spend time with Leah (Portwood said that she was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms so she did not want to potentially expose her daughter, but it was not clear whether she ended up testing positive for the illness). On Tuesday night's episode, their relationship took another left turn as Portwood refused to go to a birthday celebration that Shirley was holding for Leah.
At the beginning of the episode, Shirley, who has primary custody of Leah, asked her how she wanted to celebrate her 12th birthday. She explained to her father that she wanted to hold a low-key celebration with her family, including her father, stepmother Kristina, half-sister Emilee, and her grandmother (Portwood's mother). However, she did not want Portwood to come to the celebration, saying that the two do not have a close bond. While she didn't want her mother to come to the celebration, Shirley encouraged her to invite Portwood as he wants to be sure that Leah isn't missing out on potentially forming that strong bond. In the end, she agreed and allowed him to invite Portwood over.
Later, when Leah's birthday arrived, Shirley explained to her that Portwood wouldn't be coming over for their party. He said that Portwood wanted to spend one-on-one time with Leah and that she suggested taking her out to dinner. Although, Leah wasn't exactly on board with that plan. Even though there was a bit of drama tied back to Portwood, the 12-year-old did seem to have a good birthday. The family got to have dinner by a Hibachi grill, which was placed outside of their home so that they could adhere to COVID-19 safety precautions. Additionally, Shirley's wife, Kristina, gave her a beautiful ring with her birthstone on it and told her that Leah may not be biologically hers, but that she sees her as one of her own all the same.
Portwood later opened up to her brother, Shawn, about the entire situation. She expressed her frustration over the fact that Leah did not want to meet with her one-on-one and also claimed that Shirley and Kristina were influencing her daughter to not form a tight relationship with her. In response, Shawn told Portwood to try to see things from Leah's perspective, telling her that she has been "kind of absent" for a good part of her daughter's life due to her past legal troubles. But, Portwood wasn't receptive to that point of view. To see whether Portwood and Leah are able to get to a better place in their relationship, fans can tune into Teen Mom OG, which airs on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on MTV. Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.