May 10, 2016 06:45 PM

Beautyrest Black

Talk about a doting dad!

Four-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady says spending as much time with his model wife, Gisele Bündchen, and their children Benjamin, 6, and Vivian Lake, 3, as he can is his top priority right now.

“[The kids] always get a book before bed, sometimes two if they’re nice to me!” Brady, 38, tells PEOPLE at an event for the Beautyrest Black luxury mattress at the St. Regis hotel in New York City. “It’s such precious time — you don’t want to rush those things.”

The New England Patriots quarterback says Bündchen, his wife of nine years, will lie down with their kids “for hours” before bedtime — reading them stories and snuggling with them.But when it’s his turn to tuck the kiddos in, Brady prefers to read to them from a seated position. “I like to hold them and read in a chair by the bed, then ultimately put them into bed,” he explains.

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“I love the Dr. Seuss books, because I love reading them!” Brady, 38, says with a laugh. “Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss… those are the ones that I love. I’m always like, ‘Can I pick the book tonight?’ “

Brady, who admits he “can’t speak Portuguese at all!” says Benjamin and Vivian get a kick out of Dad’s mispronunciation of their mother’s native language.

“We have a lot of Portuguese books in the house and those are … funny!” he says. “My kids can [speak Portuguese], but I can’t read it, so I probably screw up half the words. If they want to pick one of those books, they can, and that’s one of the ones that I read. It’s hard.”

And while evenings at the Bündchen/Brady household end early (Brady goes to bed around 8:30 p.m. every night), the NFL player says mornings can get very hectic — starting at 5:30 a.m. when the kids wake up.

“I don’t overstress –I’m pretty mellow in our house. I get up, get the kids ready for school and I’m not freaking out about every little thing,” he says. “I just take it at my own pace. I’m a pretty relaxed parent. My wife is a little more like, ‘You have to do it this way! You have to do this!’ And I’m like a little more like, ‘They’ll get to it.'”

Brady says some of his favorite memories with his kids actually take place on the car ride to school.

“We sing a lot! They love the song ‘Radioactive,'” says the doting dad.

After a pause Brady smiles — as if remembering one of those mornings — and begins to sing the Imagine Dragons tune: “Radioactive, radioactive!”

The NFL star admits it’s “pretty tough” to balance his work life with family life, especially when he’s in season, but he hates missing out on anything to do with his kids.

“[Sometimes] it’s like when did you learn that?” he says. “Where and when did that happen and how can I freeze you in this moment right now so you don’t get any older?!”

— Rose Minutaglio

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