True, true, I was interpreting a "lick" as a movement of the tongue outside the mouth, or, perhaps, a movement of the tootsie pop (or other random orifice) in a vertical motion back and forth on top of the surface of the tongue, again, external from the mouth. Also, a horizontal, perhaps even "thrashing" motion (are you listening, Lina?) in quick and multiple directions would be encompassed by the "lick" - it's in no means a unidirectional motion.
What you describe, foxdvd, I would probably be inclined to classify as a "suck", i.e., working down the tootsie pop (or other random orifice) with not only the tongue, but the lips as well. This method, due to the full submersion of the tootsie pop (or other random orifice) in saliva, would be more effective at reducing it to it's chewy centre in a shorter amount of time. I'd say the reason your wife is more efficent is because she has a more effective method, probably from previous experience of some nature or another. Then again, these are all extrapolated assumptions.
(Heh. Oh dear...)