Last night was tough. Not only was Eriko completely drained by the time I arrived home, which thankfully, was earlier than usual, but Jerry had a poor night sleeping.
He woke up once, was upset, couldn't talk about it, and it eventually escalated to me removing him from the bedroom. This turned into a full blown tantrum, kicking, screaming, hitting, throwing, spitting... you name it. I sat on the couch and was minimally engaged - I would put him back on the floor if he ran over and tried to hit me and I talked to him - I kept explaining that he needed to talk about what he wanted.
Eventually, he exhausted himself and with arms open, said he wanted to talk. I picked up, he asked to go back to bed and agreed to be quiet, and away we went. It took some time for him to fall asleep, with lots of whimpering, feet rubbing, and back scratching. Eriko had trouble sleeping during this time and left the bedroom briefly.
Eventually, Jerry woke up again - and again, he was unable to articulate why he was upset or awake and it escalated to me removing him from the bedroom. The tantrum was even more severe this time, with objects around the living room being thrown. I was more agitated as well, telling him that he was "not a baby and he needed to talk." Eventually, I felt that the tantrum could be dangerous to him (as he was close to the corner of the coffee table) and I restrained him on the floor. He started telling me he was a "baby" (at least he was talking) and Eriko came out of the bedroom. Once Jerry spoke, he was clearly in command of himself again and he and I went back into the bedroom.
During this tantrum he accidentally pulled of one of his gloves (to help prevent night-time scratching) and it took a while for him to articulate that this was the problem. He did, eventually, without further escalations and we finally managed to go to sleep.
I think he woke up one more time for additional rubbing, but was able to articulate that.
I don't necessarily have better ideas for helping to learn to cope - I just hope neither Eriko nor I am causing too much long-term harm to Jerry...