Woodson Kindergarten seeing double

Published 2:53 pm Saturday, October 3, 2009

Wearing green, coordinated outfits, blond-haired Kaden and Madelynn Murley, 6, sat on the floor at Woodson Kindergarten Center Friday and talked about what it’s like to be twins.

“Aug. 4 is my birthday and I’m going to be 7,” Kaden said.

“I like playing with him,” Madelynn said.

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The twins aren’t alone in their distinction — Woodson has 10 sets of twins this year. Yes, 10. The school has 374 students total.

When new principal Jean McDermott was asked how many twins an Austin school will typically have, she replied with “zero.” She was the principal for several years at Neveln Elementary, and said the occurrence of twins was rare.

“I was there many, many years, and most years we had none,” McDermott said. When the schools do have twins, the students are usually not paired with each other for classes.

“I can’t remember ever putting twins together,” McDermott said. Parents often request separating their twins at school.

The occurrence of twins in general has grown more likely in recent years. According to babycenter.com, about one in 32 births are twin births. The rate has increased 65 percent since 1980.

All of Woodson’s twins gathered Friday afternoon at the school, where parents discussed raising multiples.

Nicole Dudycha is the mother of 5-year-old Emma and Hope.

“It’s interesting because you have two people doing the same things, but they are different people,” she said. “They kind of compete quite a bit, which makes them do better.”

Her twins donned matching outfits and long pigtails. They said they don’t usually dress alike.

“I like to go to the gym and play outside,” said Emma Dudycha, 5. “I like the monkey bars.”

Angie Hughson also ha 5-year-old twins, Brynn and Allie.

“It’s interesting,” she said of being a twin mom. “They’re independent but they do have the same likes.”

“We found out on picture day there’s so many,” Hughson said.

Gilberto Briones is the father of Gilberto and Maria del Carmen Briones Munoz, age 5.

He came to the U.S. from Mexico 17 years ago, and all of his three children were born here.

“It’s a wonderful thing,” said Briones, whose family has two sets of twins and one set of triplets. “It’s a blessing. I always dreamed I would have twins.”