Leah turned 12 during tonight's Teen Mom OG episode, but her mom Amber decided not to join her daughter's family-only birthday party. Now, can the MTV mom fix the "bond" with her mini-me?
The context: Gary asked Leah what she wanted to do for her birthday -- and if she wanted to invite her other parent for a small, family-only get-together with Kristina, sister Emilee and Grandma Tonya (Amber's mom).
"I don't want to," Leah told Gary and Kristina about Amber, even though he said it was "important" to spend time with her. "We don't really have a bond like that. Twelve years, and she hasn't really done anything. That's kind of been Kristina's spot."
Kristina's take: "I'm just the bonus mom."
But Gary didn't want Leah to write off her mother because "at some point," she should try to have a relationship with her.
"All she did was give birth to me," Leah responded, which Gary refuted.
"She might not have always been there, but she was there," he stated. "I just don't want you missing out on something that could be there. But if you're not letting her come over and you're not letting her spend time with you, then you're never going to have what you missed."
Leah concluded that Amber could come to the gathering. But Amber was conflicted.
"I feel like if I go, I'm going to feel a bit uneasy," she told her producer Townsend during a phone call. "Once Leah stops making excuses of seeing me, I want to have a good relationship with all of them. I really do. But if this is how it is, I'm just going to give it space."
Right before the celebration, Gary told Leah that her mother wouldn't be coming -- and that Amber wanted to do something for dinner separately.
"I don't want one-on-one with her like that," Leah responded and said she would tell her mom later.
After the festivities -- which included plenty of gifts and a hibachi chef preparing dinner -- Amber told her brother Shawn via Facetime about the situation.
"She thinks I missed her birthday party, but I would like to just do something alone with her and nobody's responding," Amber said. "She thought since she was turning 12 years old, she told me she was independent. There was things she was telling me that you would have f*cking flipped. I told her I would give her some time."
But Amber took issue when Shawn said she was "absent" during Leah's childhood.
"I wasn't absent. In fact, I took care of her by my damn self before I went to f*cking prison," Amber retorted. "I'll be absent if it keeps her away from sh*t she doesn't need to f*cking be around. I'll be absent. But I'm not absent. I was still in her life."
Amber claimed that Gary and Kristina did "not do their part" and had told her "lies on some things."
"It takes a lot of work to make up for 12 years," Shawn said.
"I want her to know that we do have a bond, and she will miss me if I don't come over the way that I used to," Amber stressed. "I want her to understand, don't look at your f*cking mother and say, 'I don't have a bond with you.'"
Keep watching Amber and Leah on Teen Mom OG every Tuesday at 8/7c.