Not to be confused with season 3′s Jordan Ward, last night’s 16 and Pregnant season 4 subject Jordan Howard grappled with the usual financial and emotional issues of being a teen mom… in addition to her mother Kelly, who disapproved of Jordan’s babydaddy Tyler because he’s white. Her episode started pretty far into her pregnancy because the producers knew that the real drama would lie in what Jordan and Tyler would do once baby Chase was born and their families weren’t speaking. And it was definitely one of the more dramatic episodes this season! (Although we haven’t yet gotten to the one where the girl’s babydaddy dies.) Read on for what you should know about Jordan Howard.
1. It’s never really explained why Jordan’s mom Kelly dislikes Tyler, except for the fact that Jordan and Kelly are black and Tyler is white. As Jordan later explains to her friends, Kelly seems to think that Tyler will be at a disadvantage to raise a black son, though they never go into what those projected conflicts will be. Kelly allows Jordan to stay at Tyler’s parents’ place — and they have no problem with her — during her pregnancy because Kelly works the graveyard shift, but she makes it clear that once the baby is born, Jordan will be staying under her roof and Tyler will not be welcome.
2. Surprisingly, there’s almost no discussion on whether or not the kids used birth control, so I’m actually unclear on how Jordan got pregnant. But there is something telling about the fact that Tyler walks around wearing a T-shirt that says I am the kid your parents warned you about. (Emphasis on “kid.”) The producers briefly light on the fact that Tyler is a Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast, but thankfully we don’t have to suffer through any Made-style sequences where they poke fun at Tyler’s nerdy hobby.
3. In several scenes that reminded me of how Jenelle Evans and Kailyn Lowry interact with their mothers, Jordan has poor communication skills with Kelly. Prior to filming, Tyler had used his savings ($300) to buy a crib for Chase, but because they left it at Kelly’s house, she wouldn’t let them bring it over to Tyler’s place. Jordan and Tyler sneak into the house while Kelly is at work and take the crib out piece by piece. Kelly freaks out and leaves Jordan several profanity-laden voicemails, which prompts Jordan to move out and live with Tyler’s family for the rest of her pregnancy. Or maybe she was already going to move out? Hard to tell.
What’s most disturbing about Kelly is the way she lords power over Jordan. There’s a difference between a wise parent chiding their teenager for getting knocked up, and a woman who taunts her daughter, saying (paraphrased), “You can’t get an epidural unless I sign off on it” and “You’re mine, what’s yours is mine.”