Most of us know him as Barney Stinson or Doogie Howser but actor Neil Patrick Harris, who’s been in the industry for nearly three decades, has been playing his most vital role yet: as dad to adorable 5-year-old twins, Harper and Gideon.
Though his memorable portrayal of Barney Stinson on ‘How I Met Your Mother’ depicts him as a womanizer, in real life he is faithful and happily married to fellow actor, David Burtka.
But one thing about Barney that he’s carried over to parenting is a wicked sense of humor.
He spoke to Fatherly, to drop some funny but surprisingly insightful nuggets of wisdom about life as a dad.
How can the twins tell who’s ‘Daddy’?
“Well you know when it’s two blokes with kids, you aren’t sure who’s called what, so rather than Daddy 1 and Daddy 2 like some Doctor Seuss book, it seems better that he’s daddy and I’m poppa.”
What does he call his husband?
“I just think partner is the strangest word, I meet grown businessmen and, he’s like this is my partner Jim. I don’t know if they’re in business together, or if they’re a gay couple, or if they’re cowboys.”
What’s an alternative to traditional sleep training?
“They sleep 13 hours a night. Here’s the trick, a staple gun. They realize they’re pinned at the ears, at the fingers, and at the toes, and they sleep.”
What will the twins be when they grow up?
“They’ve managed to get all of their fingers into their mouths, sometimes just their thumb, unfortunately they keep gagging on their own fingers … I figure they’re going to be supermodels!”
How can parents break gender stereotypes?
“When Harper was one or 2 years old and barely talking, she would put on Disney princess outfits (which she still does, by the way). Everyone would coo and take pictures. Gideon felt left out, so he put on a dress too. We all cooed and aww-ed and there was no weirdness. But after about 4 minutes, you could see it: He just didn’t like it. It was too girly, too frilly, and he just took it off, like, ‘Nah, this is not my thing.’ Lately he’s been wearing construction vests and hard hats, and he asks construction people if he can work with them. He couldn’t be happier.”
What are the perils of teething?
“Sorry I haven’t tweeted lately. The monkeys are teething, and drool is everywhere. As it turns out, the iPhone is not a great pacifier.”
His twins are growing up so fast. Do they amaze him daily?
“You have to be adaptable because they constantly keep changing. They’ll do something that blows your mind and then they’ll spit all their food out on the carpet.”
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