When Rebecca spoke her first word, we all cheered. After health issues, intensive care and hospitalizations that set back her development each time, we didn't expect her language skills to come along roughly on time: by 12 months she could say "NO", always loud and clear. After that first word her language development seemed to came to a halt. But more hospital and more health issues got in the way, and we didn't worry (about that).
Then, at 22 months all of a sudden she said "NO WANT", and after a little debate in the family we decided that she had spoken her first sentence and we had little celebration party. "NO WANT" replaced the more linguistically simple "NO", and for a few months that's all she would say. Then we became worried. We didn't worry about the fact that at the same age both boys could already speak well, we worried about what she'd chosen to communicate to us, the single refusal sentence good for all occasions.
One day she surprised us by uttering something different: "gweem". Not once, but many times, each time the pitch in her voice rising. She wanted "gweem", but what was "gweem"? We frantically searched the house offering her many types of gweem, to no avail.
Gweem, it turned out, was water. Water in the green cup. Colors rapidly filled her vocabulary, as she began to ask for water in specific-colored cups. Bilingualism followed, as she'd ask in English or Italian, depending on whom she was addressing: she'd say "su" to me, and "up" to her daddy, for instance. Finally, she started a phase of constant chattering.
Now we have a talking two year old, except that most of the times no one in the family can understand what she's saying, either in English or in Italian. She often doesn't say a complete word, and changes the order of syllables. Many of her consonants sound alike. The result?
The result is this at times: NOT a young girl having a temper tantrum on the floor in the lounge, her brother throwing slippers and her doll around to make her snap out of it. The result is an often frustrated little girl with so many things to say, but not enough words to express them yet.