The current baby boom seems to have spawned an unpleasant side-effect: an invasion of strollers. They're everywhere -- on sidewalks, on the Mall, in stores and restaurants. Accompanying this invasion is a group of ill-mannered pushers.

Example: I recently witnessed a woman wheel her baby stroller over another woman's foot, without turning her head and uttering so much as an "excuse me." Fortunately, the assaulted lady had a good sense of humor and loudly sang toward the stroller-pusher: "Well, I didn't need that foot anyway. I've got another one."

This and other incidents point to the need for a pusher's code of conduct:

*If you have triplets, buy three strollers that can be attached vertically. I have seen strollers built three-across take up a whole sidewalk in Georgetown.

*Before taking the stroller on a bus, make sure the little lever on the side -- the one that's supposed to make the stroller collapse into folding form -- is in working order. I saw a man on a Metrobus spend 20 minutes stabbing at the collapsing button on his stroller while the baby screamed in his arms and passengers climbed on seats to get around him.

*If you and your close friend both have new babies in strollers, avoid going into crowded elevators together. The baby's psyche may be permanently scarred by the cursing from fellow passengers.

*Observe keep-to-the-right highway rules.

*Tag the stroller with an ID. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing two people fight over the same burgundy, canopied stroller.

*If you're going to bump into people with the stroller, please have the baby riding in it. Injured bystanders can better contain their anger if they look down and see a gurgling little one.