Turns out, you really can teach an old dog new tricks.
Blake Shelton, the sometimes controversial country crooner, has undergone a few changes since he started dating punk goddess Gwen Stefani back in 2016. For starters, it's pretty inconceivable that the rugged outdoorsman would have ever sung jolly Christmas duets or agreed to accepting People's Sexiest Man Alive title prior to the couple's courtship. But, not even the sing-talking or sudden desire to participate in gushy interviews about love surprised Shelton as much as his affinity for parenting Stefani's three sons, Apollo, Zuma, and Kingston.
In a recent interview with People, Shelton admitted that he absolutely adores parenting and is grateful for all that the children bring into his life.
"At this point in my life, I kind of had put [having kids] as like, 'Well, that wasn't meant to be,'" he said. "Then all of a sudden it happens one way or another and it's like, 'Wow, [I] missed out on a lot.' And so having them around...I don't even know how to describe it. It's so much fun."
He admitted that his relationship with the boys wasn't always as seamless as it is now.
"For a long time, it was awkward trying to figure out what my place is and in their mind, too," he said.
It's nice that he acknowledged that Stefani's sons may have had a difficult time with the transition, as well, especially since it can't have been easy for them to witness their parents' divorce. Thankfully, the kids seem to have plenty of support from Stefani and Shelton as they continue to adapt to their new family dynamic. Shelton, too, appreciates their influence — and it's not just because he now has a few more people to slug around in the mud with at his Oklahoma ranch.
"The best part for me, selfishly, is discovering a part of myself that I guess I never really knew was in there," he said. "It's definitely an instinct that kind of kicks in...They're so damn funny. It's just my first time being around it, and it's easy to fall in love with those kids. They're pretty special."
Aww, he likes them; he really likes them!