July 13, 2014 12:00 PM

Feld Entertainment/Splash News Online

For Scott Wolf and his wife, Kelley, making their family an actual party of five by adding a third child was just a matter of time.

Up until the May arrival of daughter Lucy Marie, the couple’s family planning had been successful — despite an unexpected age gap between sons Jackson Kayse, 5, and Miller William, 20 months.

“We knew that we wanted to start and that’s when we had our first,” the actor, 46, told PEOPLE while attending the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey LEGENDS event Thursday evening in Los Angeles.

“But the second one took longer than we thought it might, so that 3½-year split was a little bit more than we originally set out [for].”

So the Perception star admits to being more than a little stunned when his wife opened up a very specific dialogue one morning.

“I was the recipient of a surprising breakfast conversation,” he says with a wide smile. “[Kelley said], ‘I think we should do it, and we should do it right away.’ It shocked me, because I expected the conversation to at least take a little while.”

After witnessing the births of his boys, Wolf wasn’t expecting Kelley to be prepared for a third pregnancy quite so fast.

“Seeing what a woman goes through carrying and delivering a child, it’s an incredible amount of work — psychologically, emotionally, physically,” the Night Shift guest star says.

“So for her to say that, I just knew that it was something that she had no question about, and then it happened pretty quickly after that.”

Quickly and with a reveal that Wolf is likely never to forget. It’s safe to say that the former Party of Five star will be steeling himself every time he takes to the stove from this point on.

“While I was cooking breakfast for everybody, my 5-year-old skips into the kitchen and says, ‘Here you go, Dad!’ and off he skips out — after handing me the test that said that [Kelley] was pregnant,” Wolf says with a laugh.

“It literally took me to a knee — not in a bad way, but it was just so much. Then I looked over at the table and our 9-month-old was sitting there. It was just so weird because I was about to serve my baby breakfast, and here was another baby.”

It was, as Wolf puts it, “the biggest ‘holy crap’ moment of it all,” but one that he quickly recovered from. The latest for Wolf? Coming to the realization that his newborn daughter is likely made of sturdier stuff than he.

“She’s only 7-weeks-old, but what I can say is that it feels unique in the fact that she is our third child, but it feels brand new in a way that I never had a daughter before. She’s this tiny little thing, but she just feels really strong already,” Wolf says.

“She could hold her head up when she was a day old, and there is something that really feels strong and powerful about her. It might be because she is my third child, it might be because of who she is, but I feel a lot less physically anxious about standing over her and keeping the world away from her, because I just feel like she’s good — she’s tough.”

He adds, “She’s kind of a quiet storm — a good, positive storm — but she is a force.”

— Reagan Alexander


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