Jason Bateman tells it like it is.
On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the 49-year-old actor recollected his hilarious parenting fail — the time he debunked the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy all in one ill-fated conversation with his daughter Francesca Nora, 11.
Bateman, who lives in Georgia for months at a time to film Ozark, decided to separately bring both of his kids with wife Amanda Anka — Frannie and Maple Sylvie, 6 — down south for father-daughter bonding.
But Anka had doubts from the beginning. ” ‘You’re an idiot,’ ” she told him, according to Bateman. ” ‘You can’t get the kids to camp on time, let alone fly across the country with them and feed them and wash them for a week.’ ”
“I said, ‘I got it. How dare you,’ ” Bateman playfully recalls. ” ‘Let me try it out first with the 11-year-old. She can probably withstand any sort of damage.’ ”
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.
The trouble started mere minutes into Bateman’s ride to the airport when Frannie popped out with a tricky question about Easter.
“[She said,] ‘Daddy, here’s what I don’t understand. Bunnies don’t lay eggs, right?’ ” Bateman says. “And I’m like, ‘That’s true.’ And she said, ‘So I’m having a hard time putting a couple things together here.’ And I said, ‘What’s the problem?’ And she said, ‘The Easter-egg Bunny: Not real, right?’ ”
That’s when Bateman panicked. “I said, ‘I’m pretty sure that’s real, honey. What do you mean?’ She goes, ‘I don’t think it’s real, and I don’t want you to lie to me right now because there’s a few kids in my class who say that it’s not real, and I don’t want to be an idiot … Pinky promise with me right now that the Easter-egg Bunny is real.’ ”
RELATED VIDEO: Pink Shares Hilarious Letter Her Daughter Wrote to Santa About Her Elf on the Shelf: “Mom Fail!”
As soon as Bateman pinky promised that the Easter Bunny was indeed imaginary, Frannie cornered him about the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. “So now I’m in a blackout and I’m sweating,” Bateman narrated. “I catch eyes with the driver, he’s in the rear-view mirror, and he’s just shaking his head like, ‘This poor bastard.’ ”
After Bateman fessed up, the worst part came. “Now I gotta text Mom, I’m not even at the airport, and I already destroyed [her childhood].” Anka told Bateman to make Frannie pinky promise not to spoil the fun for her younger sister — and questioned her husband’s skills as a “professional liar.”
Jimmy Kimmel offered Bateman advice: “Get that kid some mittens before she asks you about sex.”