Record-Setting Six Sets of Twins at South County Preschool
The South County Pre-School Co-op in Davidsonville, enrollment typically is about 60 children across four classes of 3- and 4-year olds. The parent-owned organization has had its share of multiple births through its three decades in operation—one set of triplets and dozens of twins.
But this year, there is something special. There are six sets of twins this school year. That’s right 12 of the 60 students are twins.
The National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs puts the rate of identical twins at a constant four per thousand throughout history, in any geography, regardless of maternal age or any other outside factors. So, it is a little surprising to find six sets of twins who all hail from Davidsonville, Harwood, Edgewater and other points in South County.
According to lead teacher Barbara Freeman, it is the most in the school’s history.
Of the six sets though, only two are identical. The other four sets are fraternal, which are common and becoming more so.
According to the CDC, in 2009, one in 30 births was a set of fraternal twins. In every state in the country, fraternals are on the rise. In fact, since 1980, the CDC reported a 76-percent increase in fraternal twins. There are a lot of differences between identicals and fraternals.
First, fraternal twins tend to run in families, often skipping a generation. In addition, the incidence of fraternals can be influenced by maternal age (over 35), the number of pregnancies, geographic location, the time of year and pre-term nutrition (good/great nutrition increases the likelihood of fraternals).
But another reason for a rise in fraternal twins is due to the introduction of infertility treatments—which gave Kate Gosselin her infamous set of sextuplets.
At the school, there are three sets of identicals and three sets of fraternals.
Zoya and Asa Wexler’s mom, Dr. Njozi Wexler said that she has traced her ancestry to an African tribe that has a very high incidence of twins. The two boys are in the afternoon 3s class.
Her aunt on her father’s side has twins too. She said she was surprised to find out there was another set of twins in her boys’ class. Then really surprised to learn about all the twins at the school.
Caroline and Daniel Gunhus, also 3, were enjoying playtime side-by-side at the sand table. Mom Nicole said that it is hard as a mother not to notice the difference between girls and boys and the differing pace of their development. She has four boys. Caroline is the only girl.
Most of the moms said that their twins will play with each other and keep one another occupied.
Freeman said that twins in the classroom, even a small class, don’t change the dynamics much. But, she said that it is interesting to see each set of twins because “they’re all different.” Some come with their twin and stick together like glue. Others start out together and drift in and out of other groups.
“In the morning 3-year-olds class, one of the students, Sophie Moore, started out sitting next to her twin Mica. She decided pretty quickly that she wanted to go and sit with the other girls, leaving her brother behind,” she said. “Mica didn’t get it at first. He didn’t understand why his sister wouldn’t want to sit with him.”
Years ago, the school had a set of twins who spoke their own language. It was hard for us because the communication was limited, but it was fascinating to watch.
Nothing like that going on at the school this year. Some of the twins play together, others have found new friends.
But, they always come back as best friends to their twin.
Amy Moore said that she didn’t know of any twins in her family. She said that once at the mall, in the play area, there were four sets of twins playing together, including hers.
Katie Frank’s two girls, Maysie and Harper, are one of the three sets of identicals. They are in the morning 3s class. Frank said that the pregnancy was so different from her other singleton pregnancies. She said her mother-in-law is one of a twin.
“It’s double the joy and quadruple the work,” she said.
The school will host their annual Open House on Nov. 10 on the school grounds, 3789 Queen Anne Bridge Road in Davidsonville. Visit myscpc.org for more information