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SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2006
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TOM WRIGHT

Beware the stick in the mouth

Aaah! The dreaded stick.

Two-by-four timber sized, capable of prying, poking and destroying all resistance in its path, the stick is to be avoided at any cost.

That is unless your little sister is to be its victim. That's a cause to celebrate.

But moms can be sneaky, not play fair with developing young minds that can't yet distinguish a slider from a curveball. That's where my namesake, Wright Deas, who taunted Emma Grace with such delight, is in life's journey. He didn't know he was going in as a substitute.

"Emma Grace is going to get the stick in her mouth, the stick in her mouth ...," he chattered, one recent morning as Mary Grace hauled the two in to check the progress of Emma Grace's strep throat.

"Stop it, Wright," the 2 1/2-year-old whined. He didn't. The stick loomed larger the closer their SUV advanced on the doctor's office. He was along for a free ride. No stick for him. No, sir. He was well, no hint of a sore throat.

"Wright," his dad said, from the front seat, "If you don't quit it, you're going into timeout when we get back home."

"Stop it, Wright," Emma Grace said again, enjoying her dad's support.

Fast-forward to post-doctor visit.

"You should have seen Wright's eyes," Mary Grace reported via cell phone. "They were as big as saucers," she exaggerated.

The doctor called Wright's number, bypassing Emma Grace, with the tongue depressor. And before he could holler foul ball, the doctor had Wright's head in the equally dreaded death hold and the dreaded stick was inside his mouth, pushing out any leftover taunts.

"Wright got the stick in the mouth, Wright got the stick in the mouth, Wri ...," Emma Grace chanted on the way home.

"Shut up, Emma Grace," Wright said. She didn't until her mother threatened her with timeout if she didn't hush and told Wright that "shut up" wasn't supposed to be in his vocabulary.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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