Are all toddlers nasty, or just mine?
Mom, your toddler is not nasty, but you are judging your toddler through an adult lens, instead of empathizing and understanding that he is being resourceful, and discovering his body. You have had your entire lifetime to adapt to the generally accepted belief that nose picking is disgusting and sampling fecal waste is repulsive.
For about two years, he would put everything in his hair. Anytime he touched anything that had a texture, he wiped his hands in his hair. He hasn't done it since we cut it off.
Your son is smart. His hands were dirty, and he wanted to clean them, so he used a soft absorbent material to assist with gunk removal. You should have applauded his ingenuity and then handed him a napkin and reminded him to ask for a napkin or a towel whenever he needs to wipe his hands in the future..
Lately, hes started picking his nose (I think he got the habit from dad and daycare) but then I noticed he started putting his finger in his mouth (he had to have gotten that from daycare).
Let's be real. What do you do when you have a HUGE, crusty, booger in your nose? Do you leave it there, or do you take a tissue and dig/blow it out? Mom your son is a genius! He sees a problem and comes up with a solution. As before, simply hand your son a tissue and remind him to ask for tissue when he needs to clean his nose, then take him to the bathroom to wash his hands.
Maybe your son picked up putting his finger in his nose from daycare or dad, but I am quite certain that your son is in full scientist mode. Children learn through the engagement of their senses, by touching, tasting, seeing, smelling and listening. When your son sticks his fingers in his mouth, hand him a tissue and tell him to ask for a tissue next time or to wipe his hands.
I tell him, "NO!" and that it's nasty but he does it quickly and quietly now.
Of course he now does it quickly and quietly. I know that it was not your intent, but your son now feels shame for removing something that needs to be removed. The next time that you have a BIG GREEN BOOGER stuck in your nostril, tell your son and allow him to watch you remove it with a tissue.
Just now, he got up from pooping on his potty and tried to wipe his bottom (that's exciting and new!) But then IMMEDIATELY licked his hands
This is another Science in Action moment for your son, except this time he has learned how to gain a reaction from you. Cause and Effect! Yes, consuming fecal matter does turn my stomach, and that of many others, but your reaction could encourage more of this behavior. Next time remind your son to wash his hands when he touches his bottom. You can even calmly telling him that licking poop can make him sick. Remain calm, and show him what to do.
I yanked him to the sink so fast!! He peed on his potty afterwards, scratched his butt and IMMEDIATELY licked his fingers!
Yanking your son taught him nothing. Toddlers learn through repetition, so he will need consistent reminders. Accompany your son to the restroom, and remain vigilant. Talk to your son while he is on the potty and coach him through each step. "As soon as you are finished pooping, wipe your bottom, pull up your clothing, then wash your hands". Remind your son during the day as to proper bathroom procedures. Talk about it while in the car, or walking to the park. No shame, just a light breezy conversation. You can even quiz him on potty etiquette!
I asked my mom and she said kids do what they see other kids do, tell him no and not to make a big deal out of it. I'm freaking out because that's disgusting and I want to cry!
Childhood is a time of tremendous growth, and that requires experimentation. Yes, licking poopy fingers is gross, but your son does not know this. He also should not experience shame for the natural urge to explore his body and what it produces. Maybe he learned the behavior from watching other children, but most likely he is simply curious.
Your mother is correct, this is not worthy of being made into a big deal! Remain patient and calm and use each moment as a teaching moment, because that is discipline. Your son is highly unlikely to learn the lesson the first time, but with consistency and time he will get it right. Until then, stand on guard with tissues, towels and wet wipes!