Eli Manning has gone from growing up in a house full of boys to being a real ladies man.
Not only is the New York Giants quarterback dad to daughters Lucy Thomas, who celebrates her first birthday Tuesday, and Ava Frances, 3, but wife Abby‘s extended family is full of women — leaving Manning surrounded on all sides.
Despite being outnumbered, Manning truly enjoys it and looks forward to being spoiled by his girls on Father’s Day. While he’s not sure what to expect, he is sure Abby has something up her sleeve.
“Now that Ava’s 3, I’m getting it a little bit,” he says. “My wife recorded something the other day of her saying, ‘Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. I love you.’ It’s fun to have those moments.”
Two days after this year’s holiday, the family will celebrate again — this time for Lucy’s first birthday.
“[We're having] just a little party. Nothing too crazy,” Manning tells PEOPLE. “We’ll have a couple of her friends [over]. And a couple of Ava’s friends and just have a little cake and sing ‘Happy Birthday.’ “
As Lucy continues to grow, so does her relationship with Ava, who can’t wait for the day when her little sister can keep up.
“At this point, she’s waiting for Lucy to catch up and start running around. She’s looking for a best friend,” he explains. “She’s real sweet to her. She still steals a few of her toys every once in a while. She gets her to laugh a lot and they play real well with each other.”
As he continues to enjoy the off-season, Manning is savoring time spent with his daughters.
He adds, “I’m enjoying every moment of it and being with them. Some of the things they say and do catch me by surprise and give me a good laugh.”
– Zakiya Jamal