My younger son, who just turned two a month ago, is going through one of those common stages in toddlerhood (that I remember the older one going through - but less roughly - at the same time). His brain development skyrocketed, but it's come at a cost: he can't decide anything right now.
This is a bit complicated by his cold (which probably makes food harder to taste -> harder to decide on), but it's not just food: clothes, toys, what he wants to do. Any time he'd normally have a choice, he sits there, says "don't know" for a while, then sometimes makes a choice - and then regrets it almost instantly.
Picking out clothes, he often would pick out a specific shirt, and if not, I could give him a choice of two and he'd pick one reliably. Now, all we get is "don't know" and when I offer anything, "I don't like that". Not a specific objection to getting dressed (we do now and always have had some of those, but I know what those look like). Once I pick for him and put it on he's fine.
Getting breakfast this morning, he really struggled. I gave him his choices - fruit, yogurt, some cereal - nada. I narrowed it down to two choices that he loves both of - "don't know". Finally I got myself a bowl of cereal (of a cereal he likes) and told him I was going to eat and he could tell me when he was ready to decide; he said "I want that" pointing to my cereal. Okay, fine, went over to get a bowl; he picked the bowl he and his brother fight over because they both love it (a dip bowl that has a christmas train on it!). I said "Excellent", picked it up, immediate "I don't want that" cry. He picks another bowl, okay, great. I pour the raisin bran in, he immediately says "I don't want that, I want wheaties" (which was on offer earlier, but wasn't what he'd said). At this point I'd already put milk in it so it wasn't going to change, so we sat down and after some crying he finally ate a few bites, was fine, and ended up eating three (small- 1 c rice bowl size) bowls of it.
We had thought this might be hunger related at times (or head cold related), but it seems to be all the time with no stopping. His brother had something like this for a week or two, but nothing like this - it was more that he became more opinionated and objected to everything we did out of principle. I don't think that's what's going on here directly: I think he's probably too aware of decisions and is being indecisive.
What can we do to help him out here, other than just power through? Is it better to make decisions for him, like I did with the clothes above, or to let him muddle around for a while? My wife and I are both not great 'deciders', so we'd like to give him the best shot at learning how to be decisive: but we'd also like to not have him too sad because of this.
Is it a good idea to let him change his mind until he finds what he wants? Or does that lead to a child who always changes his mind and never is happy with anything? I'm generally happy to let him (or his brother) change his mind prior to a hard cutoff, which is usually the point when some waste would occur (milk in cereal for example).