Jason Bateman Relies On ‘Rolling Ambien’ For Francesca

10/19/2009 at 03:00 PM ET
Antonie Brzostoski/INF

Daddy duty can be tough! Barely able to keep his eyes open during a recent visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, a sleep-deprived Jason Bateman admitted that the morning routine with daughter Francesca Nora, 3 this month, has been anything but mundane. “My daughter didn’t have a great night sleep last night — she’s got a phlegmy thing that kept her up — so I’m a little bit tired,” he began.

After dropping off baby girl at preschool, Jason headed back home to squeeze in some much-needed exercise, only to hear his cell phone chirp seconds before warming up.

“I get a call from the headmistress [and] she doesn’t even announce herself, she says, ‘Your daughter has a 103 degree temperature,” he shares. “And I mean, I didn’t know this, I swear! Francesca must have taken a turn for the worse somewhere in the morning.”

The events quickly went from bad to worse when the Extract star arrived at the school to pick up his little girl!

“So I had to go back there. I pick her up, I get a hairy eyeball from everybody in the school like that I’m either dropping my kid off so they deal with her sickness or that I’m trying to infect the entire student body, both of which may have been true, but I won’t admit to any of it.”

As the father-daughter pair made their way to the car, Jason found himself contemplating how to soothe Frannie, who was crying and uncomfortable. His answer? The reliable “rolling Ambien,” better known as the family car! “She’s starting to doze off a little bit and I figure, that’s great, because maybe she’ll get better when she sleeps,” he notes.

In an effort to keep Frannie sleeping soundly, Jason headed to the highway in order gain speed. “Somehow that puts her out because it pins her head back in the [car seat] as opposed to it falling forward and her waking up,” the actor jokes. Once he reached his desired speed, Jason added in a bonus move!

“So I try to carry a lot of speed and I incorporated a semi-shimmy on the wheel ’cause it gets the head going just a little bit … the whole thing of the rocking — you want to get the head moving like a bobble head.”

With Ellen noting that his choices may not have been the smartest, Jason laughs that he was relying on his veteran driving skills. Unfortunately, Ellen wasn’t the only one doubting his parenting methods!

“I got a little carried away with it because she really started to doze off. Now people are starting to pass me and giving me looks like, ‘Oh, look who’s drinking at 10:30 in the morning,’ which was awful. I got a couple of horn honks which woke her up, so it was not a good morning.”

Francesca is Jason’s first child with his wife Amanda Anka.

Source: The Ellen DeGeneres Show

— Anya

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 19 comments

Amy in Oregon on

Francesca is gorgeous! Such a doll, wonder if they call her Frankie? Anyway, hope they add a few more cuties to their clan 🙂

jan on

I love seeing pictures of these two together. That little girl is just such a cutie!

Emma on

Amy I think they call her Frannie!

Sheilz on

She is one of the most beautiful little girls I think. Very pretty face and I love her curly-ringlet hair!

marlee on

They do call her Frannie. And she is, I believe, the most beautiful celebrity baby.

Essi on

Frannie is a beautiful child, but he is the FOXIEST daddy around, in my opinion!

miaow on

My daughter is a Francesca too…she gets called Frankie (by her dad), and Francesca (me) and Cesca (brothers and grandma) and Frannie (other grandma and aunts) and…she probably has quite an identity crisis! Seems to answer to all of them though! I have to say when she is tantruming/having a bad day though we ALL call her Frankie beacuse she is: “Cranky Frankie”.

Blondiebear on

Francesca is undoubtedly the most beautiful celebrity baby with the most beautiful name in my opinion!

christina on

What a witty story! Frannie is such a beautiful girl, and she has a very doting (and handsome) daddy! She is a gorgeous blend of Amanda and Jason. They’re my favorite celebrity family!

sara on

I love the name Francesca! I have several members of my family whose name or middle name is Francis or Frances (my dad, uncle, paternal grandmother, and maternal great-grandfather). If I ever have a daughter, I would like to use that name to honor them.

Anne on

She looks like a young lady-so mature looking for her age and an absolute doll.

Benigna Marko on

what a sweet looking baby girl. Congratulations.
Benigna Marko

JMO on

She is def. a beauty. And Jason’s stories are always so funny!

Stephanie on

Oh dear, that story was hilarious! My 1 year old daughter has been having trouble sleeping at night lately (something she didn’t have trouble doing the first year of her life), so I can relate to his story about being half awake and doing literally whatever will make the baby sleep. Too funny about the people honking at him.

Patrice on

I love Jason, but c’mon, give me a break! I worked in childcare centers for years while earning my first degree, and parents would pull this crap ALL the time and it would drive us, and the moms and dads of other children nuts! You know when your child has a fever, particularly when it’s so high. Usually the parents would pull the old give them Tylenol in the morning to break the fever gag, but belive me, by noon it wears off and all the teachers know what was up and send them home anyway. Is it worth it?

Patrice on

miaow: Too funny!

Jessica on

I found this to be so amusing. My husband too tends to be more comedic than serious about things, especially when it comes to our daughter, Lilith, 9 months. And so I sympathize with this family – the whole not sleeping bit can really put you over the edge (our daughter recently decided playing loudly at 2 a.m. was a lot more fun than sleeping).

And since I tend to be more of the primary caretaker for our daughter, I can see my husband driving her to the sitters and not even noticing that she’s sick. Actually, I don’t think he’s ever dropped her off or picked her up at the daycare; he’s already gone to work for an hour and a half by the time I drop her off, so how would he know how she is in the morning? She’s happy one second and screaming about her coat and carseat the next.

I can just empathasize with this comedian of a husband and this situation. Its life, it happens. But with the heightened national health scares lately, it’s understandable people’s annoyance with it.

Terri on

That little girl is just beautiful. And I love the name Francesca. Such a little lady, it suits her perfectly.

Tammy on

Looks just like his sister Justine!!