01/09/2015 12:00 am ET Updated May 25, 2015

13 Lessons My Kids' Messy Moments Have Taught Me

Here's what I have learned about being a parent. Babies and kids are messy. A newsflash it isn't -- but it is true. They're leaky and they're drippy. They're sticky and they're snotty. And if they didn't look so cute in hats, I am not even sure we would even put up with them.

I have three children and have been a parent for almost a decade. I've learned a few things about babies, toddlers, and young children the hard way. The really hard way. Here are 13 lessons I have learned from my kids' messy moments that I want you to know:

1) Parenting experts and doctors will tell you that the best cure for diaper rash is washing the skin with warm water, drying it gently, and letting your baby go around without a diaper for as long as possible. Good luck with that.

2) When your child runs into your room to tell you that "it" was an accident, do not waste your time asking what "it" was. On your mark, get set, and go see what happened.

3) "Once something has been thrown in the garbage, you do not touch it." You know this. You know who doesn't know this? Your toddler.

4) A picture of your baby learning to eat solid food is delightful. Cleaning up after your baby after they have eaten solid food is not.

5) There are new cars. There are used cars. And then there are cars in which kids have eaten crackers.

6) Some books will tell you that children can be potty trained in a day. Some friends will brag that they did it in a week. But most kids, on average, take three to six months to become potty trained. And learning to wipe? Don't ask.

7) The common expression may be "a shoulder to cry on," but, for babies, it is also a shoulder to wipe on. Choose your outfits wisely.

8) Plungers are very important household devices that are used to unclog toilets. They also look like fun toys. Consider this your warning.

9) No bib is big enough. No bib covers what you need it to. But people look at you funny when you walk into a restaurant with your kid dressed in a garbage bag.

10) If it is early in the morning, it's okay to cry over spilled milk. If you are very tired, it's okay to cry over spilled milk. And if you pumped it yourself, then you should cry over spilled milk.

11) Only ask a child on a car ride if they can "hold it" if you are prepared for the fact that the answer might be no. Or that the answer might be yes. And that the "yes" answer might be wrong.

12) Kids love to draw. Sometimes even on paper.

13) This is the single most important piece of parenting advice I have for you: When a toddler grunts, bathtime is over.