Jerry O'Connell My Life as a Dad

updated 08/31/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/31/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

I grew up with all boys in my family, where there was no place for girlie stuff. But it's amazing to walk into my house now. Everything is pink!

When we first brought Dolly and Charlie home, Rebecca would say, "We're going out, let's put them in this dress." At first I thought it was impractical. They're going to poop and throw up in it anyway. What's the point? But now I understand dressing girls: It's just fun. Kelly Ripa gave us the nicest girlie dresses. They're their go-to fancy wear—they're so fancy, I can only wash them in Woolite! I have favorite little bedtime nighties I put them in that say, "I love Project Runway." And when they were being photographed for INSTYLE, I found myself brushing their hair. Now that there's a little more to work with, I can experiment just a bit more. Listen to me, I sound like Paul Mitchell! I can do mini-pigtails on Charlie, and on Dolly I can get barrettes in her hair.

One of my favorite things is putting them in their carriage, walking them around and having people stop me and say, "Tell me about your girls." It's like having a new car, except it's two lives. I'm proud.

Rebecca wants one of us to be home with the kids at all times. So while she's working, I've been at home, and it's been really fun. It's a different experience to be with your kids when your spouse isn't around. We have an area where they play; I go in there, and they climb all over me like two pet monkeys. We have three dogs, and if I act like one of them, the girls go crazy—we're talking Richard Pryor in his heyday. I've never had people laugh at me so hard.

When you have little girls, you're the coolest person in the world. I know at some point that's going to end; in their adolescence I'll become the opposite of that, especially if I'm parked outside a high school party. When that time comes, I'm going to read up on Judy Blume, rent some Molly Ringwald films and watch Twilight. The amazing thing about all this is that it ends at some point. You just have to appreciate every moment.

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