James Tupper: Son Atlas Is 'Like Having an Unreasonable Employer'

05/14/2009 at 09:50 AM EDT

James Tupper: Son Atlas Is 'Like Having an Unreasonable Employer'
James Tupper and Anne Heche
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
Taking a break from Daddy duty, actor James Tupper joked that fathering his newborn son, Atlas, with Anne Heche has been exhausting.

"It's a bit like having an unreasonable employer," he told PEOPLE. "He doesn't give breaks."

Tupper, who is also step-dad to Heche's son Homer, 7, from her marriage to Coley Lafoon, admits that as babies go, Atlas is very well-behaved. "I always imagine babies crying," he says. "He doesn't really. He's very sweet. He's in a warm bath of love and attention."

From the sounds of it, Atlas will soon be living up to his name: NBC announced that it's ordering more episodes of Tupper's pilot Mercy,, a medical dramedy (also starring Taylor Schilling, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Jamie Lee Kirchner), which will film in New York.

"He will be a bicoastal baby," says Tupper, who adds that the double blessing of a blossoming family and a new TV series "is like being awake in a dream."

So, how does Heche feel about her partner going bicoastal? "She's taking it a day at a time," he says.

In the meantime, she's got a full – and musical – home. Tupper, who plays the guitar, surprised Anne on Mother's Day. "I bought Anne an upright piano, and some lessons," Tupper says. "Her dad was a piano player. She plays, and I got her some lessons."

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