Bursting the fantasy bubble is one of the most heart-wrenching things about being a parent. At a certain point, kids just get to an age where lying to them about where their Christmas presents or Easter candy comes from is simply impossible. During an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, actor Jason Bateman told the harrowing story of breaking it to his 11-year-old daughter, in a single conversation no less, that the tooth fairy, Easter bunny, and Santa Claus aren’t real.
As the 49-year-old actor explained, the whole thing started when he was telling his daughter how well she’d done at an Easter Egg hunt the previous day. Rather than just take the compliment, she had a few more questions about it this time.
“She says ‘Yeah I did okay on the eggs, daddy but, here’s what I don’t understand. Bunnies don’t lay eggs right?’ and I’m like ‘that’s true,’” Bateman recounted. “She said, ‘the Easter egg bunny—not real right?’”
Stunned, Bateman said that he was “approaching a blackout of nerves,” as he tried to convince his daughter that the Easter bunny was in fact real. He even tried to get out of picky swearing that it was the truth with a hallmark of lying called: ‘this is too true for me to have to swear on it.’ Being 11-years-old, that play hardly worked on his daughter and Bateman eventually had to come clean. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there. Questions about the legitimacy of Santa and the tooth fairy eventually arose and he had to fess up about those things too.
Fortunately, she took it in stride, and after Bateman’s wife chided him for being a professional actor who could sell a single kid on the tooth fairy, he eventually just made her pinky swear that she wouldn’t tell her younger sister the truth just yet and all was well again.