IN QUOTES

Neil Patrick Harris Explains How Fatherhood Has Changed His Relationship With David Burtka

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka
Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka

For the better part of 20 years, I was a solo practitioner. Then I got David, and that changed my dynamic. I had to be very conscious of another person, but we were still able to jump into a car and go to Vegas or spend three weeks in Italy. Although we were a unit, we were still very free.

When you have kids, everything anchors to their wants and needs, so you get less sleep and have to be more aware all the time. 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.

The first year with them was complicated. They were twins, and they were crying a lot. Thank God for David. He is so good at differentiating cries.

David is so drawn to parenthood, just in his core, that I suddenly felt I was a perimeter guy. I was the man who put the cribs together and took the trash out. I tried to balance the equation.

The older they get, the more I love being a dad. Now that they’re talking, I’m really loving the camp counselor end of parenting. I’m all about reasoning. If they fall and are okay but crying, David [Burtka, his partner] will be the hugger, and I’ll be the ‘Show me where it hurts; let’s talk about it’ one. I come from a family of lawyers, so explanation is crucial.”

 

–Entertainer Neil Patrick Harris discussing the difference twins Harper and Gideon have made in his life, in a USA Today profile