Baby on the Way for Bucky Covington

02/13/2014 at 02:00 PM ET

Bucky Covington Expecting First Child Amanda Vaughn/Red Owl Photography

Bucky Covington is going to be a dad!

The country singer and his fiancée, publicist Katherine Cook, are expecting their first child this fall, the American Idol alum confirms to PEOPLE exclusively.

Though the soon-to-be dad, 36, admits the news did take a minute to sink in at first.

“Katherine came and threw a pregnancy test in front of me — three of them actually — and they all said the same thing. The only problem was I didn’t know what they were! I was like, ‘What is this? Are you okay?'” Covington tells PEOPLE. “So she told me and I got so excited!”

The musician and Cook, 30, are eager to find out the sex of their baby.

“I want to know right now! I want to say ‘he’ or ‘she’ — I hate saying ‘it,'” explains Covington.

While waiting for baby’s arrival, Covington — who says he “freaks out” when people ask him to hold their babies at meet and greets because “they’re so fragile!” — is preparing for fatherhood with a little help from an unexpected source.

“I’ve been watching a bunch of episodes of Modern Family and they seem to help a lot. I love Phil Dunphy! I don’t know that I need to be exactly like him, but he’s a trip,” jokes Covington. “I’m definitely going to be a fun dad, but there’s going to be boundaries.”

— Danielle Anderson

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Cheryle Giannoni on

Well congratulations you two… this is very exciting … I’m totally happy for you… Bucky you are a great guy and you will be a great daddy … once “she” (yes I am predicting a girl is in your future, and fatherhood will come immediately naturally. It the perfection of God’s perfect plan. God bless you both.

Cheryle from Quitman TX

Anonymous on

Doesn’t sound very good to me if she threw down the tests.

Jenna on

“What are they? Are you ok?” Lol. Really?

Cynde on

Bucky So happy for you. I wish you both the best. I voted for you by the way and am waiting for the next album hope you cut one soon. I love your music it hits home for me and I love that in your songs. Maybe it will be twin’s you never know. Congrats to both of you. Best wishes.

kaleejoy on

Do either of them have steady jobs?

Baby mom on

Is he kidding?? He’s watching Modern Family to help him get prepared for his baby. Wow…I can’t believe how dumb some people are!

Anonymous on

It says quite clearly that he was joking about that. 🙂

Anyway, congrats to them!

lisa on

Congrats to bucky and his fiance’ I’ve always loved bucky but haven’t heard much about him in awhile.