"If parents look away for too long, someone has to hold us back to not steal" their children, the Modern Family star jokes

By Reagan Alexander
Updated December 07, 2013 04:40 PM
Brian To/WireImage

Just over four months into his marriage to Justin Mikita, Jesse Tyler Ferguson happily admits that he has yet to abandon that coveted honeymoon phase.

But like many newly married couples, the two are finding it increasingly hard to ignore the pitter-patter of just about any feet.

“We’re baby crazy right now,” the Modern Family star told PEOPLE while hosting the grand opening of the couple’s Tie the Knot store at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles on Thursday.

“We see kids with families walking around, and if those parents look away for too long, someone has to hold us back to not steal them.”

While diaper dementia may have most certainly set in, Ferguson, 38, said that an actual family may still be a bit down the line for him and Mikita, 28.

“It’s definitely part of our long-term plan,” he said. “I made a joke that I wanted ‘a Kate Gosselin situation,’ but that was taken far too literally. I really don’t want eight kids. I think we could handle one – two, tops.”

Checking the "Married" Box

In the interim, before they have to think about baby-proofing their home, the happy couple can find joy in simple things that, while often overlooked by others, took on new meaning right after they got married.

“There was a time that I went to the doctor’s office and the form said, ‘Are you single, divorced, married?’ ” Ferguson said with a smile. “And I got to check the ‘married’ box. Then I put Justin as my emergency contact, and when it asked, ‘How do you know this person?’ I wrote, ‘Husband.’

It was a pen scratch on an insurance questionnaire, but it held a certain significance for the actor, who is also a staunch marriage-equality advocate.

“It really clicked in for me,” Ferguson said, “Not that it didn’t when I took the vows, but I realized that it will carry on for the rest of our lives. I will always have this person in my life to have my back and to call my husband.”

A Matter of Argument

And there’s always that free pass that couples get when all the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted on that parchment that makes a marriage legal in the eyes of others.

“Arguments that you have just don’t feel that monumental because it’s your husband and you know that you’re going to make up,” Ferguson said with a laugh.

“When you’re dating someone and you have an argument, you’re left thinking, ‘Oh god, are they going to walk out the door and never come back?!’ ”

For Ferguson, married life now makes those big disagreements small, and he’s certain that’s not a honeymoon phase that will fade away.

“I don’t think we’ve had an argument where we thought it was something bigger that was going to last more than five minutes,” he explained. “That’s a nice feeling.”