Jenelle Evans is supposed to the "bad girl" of Teen Mom 2's cast, but despite her terrible life choices (teen pregnancy, deadbeat boyfriends, drugs), you can't help but feel for the girl, who sometimes seems to be more emotionally immature than genuinely rotten.
Unemployed and unreliable, Jenelle sensibly signed over custody of her son Jace to mom Barbara in 2010, but the Teen Mom just told Us Weekly she is determined to regain legal custody of her little boy. Will their struggle for control hurt baby Jace? Here's what we can tell you:
In the March 14 issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now, Jenelle once again voices her dream of regaining full custody of her son, now 19 months old. "Once I get a job, save money and have my own place for three months, then I'll bring my mom to court." As for the long term, Jenelle says, "When he is older, I will tell him I was really young and I couldn't put a roof over my head, let alone his...In 10 years, I see myself living in L.A. or New York. I'll be a film editor. And I'll have Jace with me, for sure." For her part, grandma Barbara (whom Jace calls Mémé, from the French word for grandmother) doesn't think Jenelle will successfully execute her plan anytime soon, saying, "She knows she's not ready."
Jace might not be ready, either, since he could be more closely bonded with his grandmother at this point than to Jenelle. Barbara says, "He'll go more to me than he does to Jenelle. That's understandable, because I'm always here." Both women care for Jace, but they struggle with sharing the day-to-day responsibilities. Jenelle feels that she's contributing significantly to Jace's care, especially in the evening, but Barbara says, "[She'll] maybe give him a bath. After that, she's out and gone."
Still, despite her mistakes, Jenelle does have some long-term prospects for success, if not the immediate capacity to live and work as a self-supporting single mom. (Whatever she's earning from Teen Mom 2, Jenelle's apparently not saving enough of it to afford an apartment. According to Us, Jenelle was living her in car at one point before moving back in with Barbara—again.) Jenelle is taking film-studies classes at Cape Fear Community College, and even supersnarky Barbara compliments her smarts and skills, saying, "Jenelle was a very, very smart girl. I was always very proud of her...She's very intelligent and an excellent film editor. She has been doing it since she was 5! She could have a good life."
Barbara doesn't have any such complimentary words for Kieffer Delp, who is featured heavily in this season of Teen Mom 2 as Jenelle's boyfriend. Jenelle declares the relationship "totally, completely over," and Barbara says good riddance to bad trash, noting, "Kieffer is a hustler. He doesn't work, and he always stays at people's houses. He's a charmer."
As for the littlest but most important figure in this family drama, baby Jace is growing up fast. Jenelle notes, "His milestones are coming faster and faster as the days go by." One of those milestones? Major mimicry. Barbara says, "I want absolutely no cursing in front of this baby. He's repeating now, so that's a big issue."
Do you think that Jenelle can keep her profanity-laced outbursts down to a minimum, so that Jace doesn't start saying "f--k" for fun? Will Barbara ever see the error of her hypercritical ways? What will it take besides good, old-fashioned time for Jenelle to grow up into a more mature woman and mother?
Share your take on Jenelle, Jace and Barbara's futures in the comments.
Teen Mom 2 airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on MTV.